The basis of such events – the special stage – is a stretch of road closed to all other traffic which must be covered at a high average speed. In most of Great Britain (the exceptions are Northern Ireland, Scotland, the Isle of Man, the Isle of Mull and the Channel Islands) public roads are not available for this purpose, so special stage events use private land.
For ‘multi venue’ or ‘loose surface’ (mud and gravel) type rallies, forestry commission roads and maybe a rare closed road (ie Porlock toll road) are used.
For ‘single venue’ or ‘sealed surface’ events, caravan parks, showgrounds and airfields may be used.
Cars are prepared to the highest standard, with safety being the first concern. Helmets, fireproof clothing, seats and harnesses, must all be up to date with the current regulations and specifications. A navigator (also known as co-driver) sits alongside the driver and reads pace notes, a stage diagram or the route directly from a map.
The biggest Stage Rally that Burnham-on-Sea Motor Club is involved in is the Somerset Stages Rally held anually in April.
In the past Burnham-on-Sea Motor Club has promoted the Somerset Historic Stages & Somerset 2WD Stages, Smeatharpe Wildlife Stages and previously to that Wildlife Autosport at Cricket St Thomas, nr Chard.