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Wednesday, 13 May 2015
Rally Round appoints former ERA Director Heidi Winterbourne
Rally Round appoints former ERA
The Team at Rally Round are delighted to announce that Heidi Winterbourne has joined the company as Rally Co-ordinator, taking a pivotal role in business development and event organisation from concept to completion. She will also represent Rally Round at major events such as the Goodwood Revival, Silverstone Classic and London Classic Car Show.
Heidi is very highly respected, widely known and well liked in the classic rally world, having been a leading figure in the sport for almost 20 years. It was in May 1996 that she joined the Oxfordshire-based Classic Rally Association (CRA), then headed by Philip Young and Peter Browning, where she immediately set about preparations for the imminent Classic Marathon, the Monte Carlo Challenge and the very first Peking to Paris Motor Challenge. Following Peter Browning's departure, Heidi took over all aspects of CRA event logistics, hotels, sales, team training and office management, leaving Philip Young free to concentrate on promotion and marketing.
After the phenomenal success of the 1997 Peking to Paris, Heidi persuaded Philip that the office should be restructured. Sharing just one secretary, they set up World Rallies Ltd to run events in Europe and Africa, and Around the World in 80 Days Motor Challenge Ltd to run the longest rally ever held. Organising as many as five international events per year, the pace was frantic and the challenges extremely varied, from testing sand ladders for use in Mongolia's Gobi Desert to hiring an Antonov aircraft to fly the Around the World in 80 Days rally cars from Beijing to Alaska.
The hard work paid off, however, and over the next 16 years Heidi and Philip ran groundbreaking events for an ever-increasing number of enthusiasts, founding and co-owning the Endurance Rally Association (ERA) Ltd, Endurance Rallying Ltd and the Peking to Rally Association Ltd. As the business grew they moved the rally office from Blewbury to East Hendred, setting up home nearby.
Whilst Philip was classic rallying acknowledged figurehead, Heidi remained the driving force behind the organisation. As Event Director she personally organised more than 40 major rallies in 65 countries, including the Classic Safari, the Lombard Revival, the World Cup, the Classic Cup, the Classic Marathon, the Rally of the Tests, the Monte Carlo Challenge, the London to Istanbul Rally, the Around the World in 80 Days Motor Challenge, the Nile Trial, the Dash to Marrakesh, the Trans-America Challenge, the Flying Scotsman and the Peking to Paris.
In August 2012, after 16 years living and breathing rallying, Heidi felt she needed a break. Having made the necessary preparations to ensure the success of ERA events, she sold all her interests in the organisation to Philip, terminating their professional and personal relationship, and took time out to recharge her batteries.
In addition to her formidable business skills and experience as a rally organiser, Heidi is also an enthusiastic competitor, having driven and navigated on a variety of events including the Rome-Liege-Rome, Tour Britannia, Paris-Madrid, The Road to Mandalay and the Rallye Monte-Carlo Historique, which she has successfully completed three times.
Of her long-awaited comeback, Heidi said: "I'm happy to return to the rally world with Rally Round as I believe their ethos, combining competitive rallying with sufficient rest days to properly explore a country in the company of a smaller, more intimate group of people, is the right way forward. Rallies should be exciting, but they can also be enjoyable and memorable journeys. I'm looking forward to meeting all my old customers and telling them about the wonderful adventures we have planned."
Rally Round Director Liz Wenman added: "We're delighted to welcome Heidi to the team. As a major force in classic rallying for so many years, she will help ensure that Rally Round Driving Adventures are the best in the world."