MORE than 50 historic rally cars covered a 200-mile route starting from Chester Racecourse on Saturday (February 29), marking the anniversary of an iconic sporting moment.

With this year being the 25th anniversary of legendary driver Colin McRae and Derek Ringer winning the World Rally Championship, Derek was on hand to flag away entrants at the racecourse.

Alongside him were former RAC winner Neil Wilson and former WRC Ladies champion Louise Aitken-Walker.

Preceded by a ceremonial start at Chester Racecourse on Friday evening, the scene of celebrations in 1995 when McRae and Ringer celebrated their title win, entrants were headed by Colin’s father Jimmy, who led a train of cars the diversity of which had to be seen to be believed.

The route started with a scenic tour of World's End above Llangollen, which saw crews battle the weather gods over the highest section of the route.

Tests followed at Rednal Kart Circuit near Oswestry, where snow joined them as did fans enjoying the Speed and Rally Show which ran alongside.

A trip to Weston Park in Shropshire saw another test and lunch saw crews waxing lyrical about the challenge – the best venue of the event commented former WRC co-driver Nicky Grist.

Then it was a run to two tests at the famous Oulton Park track in Little Budworth, near Tarporley, with added water splashes which brought fans in their thousands to enjoy the spectacle, before a final two tests at a new country estate venue near Mold, this final venue becoming a firm favourite!

Crews then headed back to the finish in Chester for a well deserved evening get-together after each receiving their commemorative finishers awards.

Bryn Pierce, event director, said: "'It’s hard to believe that we’re just shy of three days since we booked Chester Racecourse last year for a dream that became Network Q Rally Revival.

"There are so many people to thank that individually would run the risk of missing people. From venues and 135 marshals, medics to recovery crews, and everyone else you made it what it was.

"The support from motorclubs was genuinely amazing and a huge thanks to Broughton Bretton Motor Club for manning the start, restart and finish plus the loan of vital signage. Plus of course Hagerty for the commemorative mugs.

"When we came up with the idea we thought it would be lovely if we could put Network Q on the cars to really roll back the years.

"Network Q supplied so much more than a name, with input including podium, door plates, official vehicles and a genuine warmth towards celebrating the 25-year history. Our thanks to Clare White in particular.

"Our guests – Jimmy McRae, Derek Ringer, Nicky Grist, Louise Aitken-Walker, Neil Wilson, Matt Edwards and of course compere Howard Davies – we salute you.

"The entrants who put their faith in us and created a truly spectacular variety of cars, the smiling faces and laughter, the social side was wonderful to experience.

"Lastly our core team, the people that did so much behind the scenes, multiple mid week meetings, hundreds of calls and emails and time away from families, thanks to you.

"We’ll finish by saying we hope to do something again but we’re not sure when. Jimmy had a 'great event' and we hope you did too.''