THE roar of high-powered car engines will be heard through the trees at Grizedale Forest this weekend as rally drivers and navigators look for the quickest route to the finish line.

Today’s pictures from The Mail archive feature some of the motor sport action seen in the woodland over the years as competitors get ready for the annual Malcolm Wilson Rally which is being held on Saturday, March 14.

To ensure public safety to forest walkers at this year’s event, all footpaths and bridleways at Grizedale, west of the Hawkshead to Satterthwaite road, will be closed on race day. There are similar restrictions at Broughton Moor, Whinlatter Forest and Wythop Woods.

The event is named after rally driver Malcolm Wilson OBE, whose M-Sport business in based in West Cumbria.

The Mail, on Monday, March 11 in 2002, noted: “Heavy snow and howling winds added to the thrills and spills of the annual Malcolm Wilson Rally through Grizedale Forest on Saturday.

“The flash falls did put the skids under the crowds, which usually turn up in their hundreds for the race.

“Treacherous roads and icy conditions meant only a handful of early risers had the opportunity to watch the high-powered cars careering round the course.

“The relatively small crowd at Grizedale on Saturday seemed determined to enjoy the day despite the Arctic conditions.

“Event winners were Jonny Milner and Nicky Beech in a Toyota Corolla, second were Penrith brothers Stuart and Steve Egglestone in their Evo, third place went to John Thompson and Ian Oakley in an Escort Cosworth.”

The Mail, on Monday, March 6 in 2000, noted: “For the first time in its history, competitors in the Malcolm Wilson Rally raced during the night. The idea was thought up by organisers who wanted to put on something a little special to celebrate the race’s 25th anniversary."

The race was won by North Yorkshire’s Steve Petcher and John Richardson in a Ford Escort WRC. The rally had been organised by Kirkby Lonsdale Motor Club, Morecambe Car Club and West Cumbria Motor Sports Club.