Auto News for November

With Liam Bird


Following last month’s record-breaking Wales Rally GB, event organiser Motorsport UK is delighted to confirm that the FIA World Rally Championship will be return-ing to Wales in 2020.

Appealing to the purists, the UK’s round of the electrifying WRC will move back to a more traditional end-of-season date and be staged from Thursday 29 October to Sunday 1 November. As the penultimate – and final European

round – on a calendar that commences in Monte Carlo in late January and finishes in Japan in late November, Wales once again is certain to deliver maximum excitement as the 2020 title race reaches its thrilling finale.

“We are absolutely delighted to be back in Wales next year – even more so after all the hugely positive feedback we’ve already had to what was an incredible 2019 event,” said Hugh Chambers, CEO of Motorsport UK, organiser of Wales Rally GB. “With Wales as the centre-piece, the whole rally benefited from the increased profile and fan support right from the start in Liverpool and the following spectator-friendly opening stage at Oulton Park.

“Every year we challenge ourselves to make our round of the World Rally Championship even better than the previous one and, now Wales has been confirmed for 2020, we can start striving for even more exciting innovations for the WRC’s return in little more than 12 months’ time.”

Next year will be the 21st in succession that Rally GB has been staged in Wales and the 18th as Wales Rally GB with the Welsh Government as its principal funding partner.

The full route for the now confirmed 2020 Wales Rally GB will be announced in the New Year.


When they first pass their driving test, new motorists are going miles out of their way to avoid driving situations they don’t feel comfortable with, according to new research.

The research, which questioned 1,000 UK drivers on behalf of pre-17 driving school Young Driver, revealed that in some situations, more than a third of newly qualified motorists actively avoid having to perform manoeuvres or tackle roads they aren’t comfortable with.

According to the research, parking was the area where new drivers lacked most confidence. One in three new drivers (36 per cent) admitted they went out of their way to avoid having to parallel park, with one in four (27 per cent) choosing to park miles away from other cars so they didn’t have to risk reverse parking into an enclosed space.

A further third of newly qualified drivers (30 per cent) admitted they avoid the outside lane on either dual carriageways or motorways whenever possible, because it made them nervous. One in five (22 per cent) said they would happily go out of their way so they didn’t have to tackle a junction or roundabout they found difficult, and the same number said they made sure routes circumvented any steep hills, which might call for a hill start.

One in 10 drivers went so far as to say they would prefer it if the cars they drove once they passed their test continued to have dual controls, so they felt reassured their passenger could help out if needed.

For more information about Young Driver visit or call 0844 371 9010.


More than 2,500 vehicles were in reported accidents last year when dazzling sun was a contributory factor, making it the largest cause of accidents when vision is affected by an external factor.

However, a few simple precautions can help drivers stay safe on the road, particularly when blinded by sunlight. These include keeping the windscreen clean, replacing any faulty windscreen wiper blades and making sure the windscreen wash is regularly topped up.

Indeed, the accident figures from the latest Department for Transport in its Reported Road Casualties Great Britain Annual Report highlight that there were 2,700 vehicles in reported accidents when dazzling sun was a contributory factor affecting vision.

This is even more than when vision was affected by stationary or parked vehicles, dazzling headlights, spray from other vehicles, or rain, sleet, snow or fog.

Imran Malek, operations manager at  – whose packages include improving driver performance – is warning drivers of the dangers of being blinded by sunlight when driving in early morning or late afternoon and evening rush hour traffic said: “Dazzling sun can present a real danger to motorists, as highlighted by these latest Government figures.

Autumn and winter in particular present their own challenges to drivers as the sun is lower in the sky, with even more potential to blind drivers especially early morning, late afternoon and evening.”

Meanwhile, other contributory factors affecting visibility included windscreens or visors that were dirty, scratched or frosted, the road layout, such as a bend or hill crest, and vehicle blind spots.

Imran added: “Other simple steps to help avoid being in an accident at this time of the year when dazzling sunlight can present a danger include leaving more room if following another vehicle, using the visor to block out the sun, plus driving more slowly.”


The iconic, annual Bonhams London to Brighton Veteran Car Run is delighted to announce a significant new partnership with CARS (Classic Automotive Relocation Services).

The renowned vehicle transportation specialist has become ‘Official Transportation Supplier’ to the world’s longest running motoring event which, in keeping with tradition, takes place on the first Sunday in November, which this year falls on the 3rd November.

Founded in 1989, CARS has established itself as one of the most respected and trusted transporters of historic, rare and prestigious motor cars in the world over the past three decades; a fitting partner to the world’s longest-running motoring event. With participants bringing their often unique pioneering pre-1905 veteran horseless carriages from across the world to take part in the celebrated pilgrimage from Hyde Park in London to Madeira Drive on the Brighton seafront, the proven expertise and experience offered by CARS is a welcome addition to the Run.

“CARS has looked after some of the most valuable and irreplaceable motor cars in the world and prides itself in ensuring they arrive in perfect condition, on time and with no unexpected costs,” said James Walker, Director. “On our 30th anniversary we are delighted to have been endorsed as the ‘Official Transportation Supplier’ to the famous London to Brighton Run and we are looking forward to helping veteran car owners to bring their vehicles to London and to get them safely home again afterwards, stress-free.”

“We are delighted to welcome CARS to our family of highly valued official partners for the Bonhams London to Brighton Veteran Car Run,” said Miles Wade, Club Secretary of the Royal Automobile Club. “Dating back to the dawn of motoring, all these extraordinary vehicles which set out on a chilly Sunday morning towards Brighton are now well over 110 years old and need careful handling. The wide range of services offered by CARS will undoubtedly prove invaluable to many of those participating, whether they are bringing their wonderful vehicles from Newcastle or New York.”

In addition to becoming the Official Transportation Supplier to the Run, CARS will also provide support at the half-way stop at Honda Crawley where Run participants will be able to warm-up with a hot drink and refreshments, providing a welcome break en route from London to Brighton.

Full details of the 2019 Bonhams London to Brighton Veteran Car Run can be found on the event website at


Three more of Barry Sheene’s race bikes have arrived at Suzuki GB from the family home in Australia, and two of them will be restored at this year’s Motorcycle Live, which takes place at Birmingham’s NEC from 16-24 November.

Sheene’s last Grand Prix bike – a DAF Trucks-sponsored 1984 Harris-framed XR45 RG500 – arrived alongside a 1978 XR27 RG500 and a special XR23A 652cc big bore RG500, raced in the Trans-Atlantic series and F1 Championship in 1979.

In conjunction with Suzuki’s Vintage Parts Programme, both the XR45 and XR23A will be refurbished and fired into life once again at Motorcycle Live, while the XR27 will be displayed alongside Sheene’s 1976 and 1977 world championship-winning XR14s, both of which were also restored thanks to the Vintage Parts Programme in 2017.

Suzuki GB aftersales marketing coordinator, Tim Davies, said, “This is another special moment for us. These bikes haven’t been back in the UK since Barry and his family emigrated to Australia, so it’s quite something to get them out of the crates and see them here again. But it’s going to be even more of a special occasion when they live again, thanks to the restoration process which will be carried out by former ‘70s and ‘80s Grand Prix technician Nigel Everett and former mechanic for Barry Sheene, Martyn Ogborne. And it’s a great opportunity for fans to again see, hear, and smell them as they would have existed at the time. We can’t wait.”

Launched in 2013, Suzuki’s Vintage Parts Programme exists to help owners of older Suzukis keep their machines maintained or help with restoration projects, with a host of parts available from cylinders, pistons, and conrods, to a range of bearings and seals, and everything in between.

For more information visit


MOTORISTS have given an overwhelming thumbs down to ‘space saver’ spare wheels and puncture repair kits, new research by independent expert car buying guide has revealed.

Introduced to save space and weight, the ‘space saver’ spare – or no spare wheel at all – tops the chart of drivers’ irritations about many features of the latest cars.

More than a thousand motorists were asked which modern car features annoy them most, with two out of three listing no full-size spare as their biggest gripe.

Ranking second in the list of annoyances was another feature aimed at improving fuel efficiency – the engine stop-start system.

Some features introduced for driver convenience also turn out to annoy a significant number of motorists. Automatic handbrakes came third on the list, followed by keyless entry, inaccurate satellite navigation systems and interior hazard warning sounds.

Carbuyer editor-at-large, James Batchelor, said: “Modern cars bristle with innovations designed for efficiency and convenience, but our research proves the adage that you can’t please all of the people all of the time.

“The absence of a full-size spare appears to be overwhelmingly unpopular with drivers, doubtless because both alternative solutions are such inconvenient temporary solutions to a flat tyre. Removing the standard spare does allow for more storage space and helps to cut CO2 emissions by reducing weight, but these benefits don’t impress most motorists.

“Continuing your journey on a speed-limited wheel – or using a temporary repair kit – are deeply unpopular options for an overwhelming majority of drivers.”


























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