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Although there is four weeks to go until the 34th running of the EventSigns Woodpecker Stages Rally, organisers Sixty and Worcestershire Motor Club are encouraging competitors to enter as soon as possible as entries are filling up much quicker than anticipated.

At the time of writing (4th August), 97 entries had been received with a further 23 awaiting payment, meaning the Ludlow based rally is quickly heading towards a capacity field. With the sport currently going through tough economic times, the organising team are encouraged by the support shown by competitors and believe it’s a positive sign for the remainder of the year.

Billed as one of the most popular events in the UK rallying calendar, the Woodpecker Stages will see a new route for 2017, as organisers seek to alter the format of the 2nd September event. In a bid to ensure the event does not become stagnant, organisers have arranged just nine miles of double usage and will utilise the Radnor forest complex three times during the course of the day.

As in previous years, the event will be based at Ludlow Racecourse and the location will play host to pre-event scrutiny, documentation and Rally HQ, as well as the service area throughout the day.

Sixty and Worcestershire Motor Club believe the new format combined with the traditional high levels of organisation has encouraged competitors to flock to event.

“It has certainly has been a tough time in the sport recently with events being cancelled throughout the year” says Pete Wood, Clerk of the Course.

“But to see entry levels exceeding our expectations at this stage is very encouraging and we hope we can attract a bumper entry to Shropshire once again. I`m sure crews will love the new format and the stages are in great condition, they won’t be disappointed in what we have in store for them. We look forward to seeing everyone in a few weeks’ time.”

Current entries include last year’s event winners Stephen Petch and Michael Wilkinson in their Ford Fiesta R5 along with 2014 event winner Paul Bird in his Ford Focus WRC.

The event is a qualifying round of the Ravenol BTRDA Rally Series and Pirelli MSA Welsh Stage Rally Championship and offers around 44 stage miles across classic stages in the Welsh Marches and Shropshire forests.

Sponsored once again by Midlands based signage specialists EventSigns, it is also a round of the Maxxis Tyres MSA English Rally Championship, Welsh Clubman’s 2WD Forest Rally Championship, ANWCC Forest Rally Championship, FMP Rally Challenge and the Reis Motorsport Insurance ASWMC Loose Surface Stage Rally Championship.

More information on the event, regulations and entry forms can be found at

Spectator access, times and locations will be issued on the event website in August.

Image : RallySport Media

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