October 16th 1982

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Lancia chose to give the fabulous 037 Rally its British debut on the '82 Pace. Markku Alen duly cruised to the car's first rally victory anywhere in the world. So pleased were Lancia that they insisted in taking the winners trophys away for display in the factory in Turin.

Incidentally this was the first win by any Group B machine on an event in Great Britain.

Pace Petroleum once again were title sponsors and indeed had taken over from Castrol in sponsoring the National Championship as well. The details of the sponsorship of the event took place in the board room of Aston Martin at Newport Pagnall, another company owned by Victor Gauntlett.

There were real worries in the weeks leading up to the event that the stages would not be made available by the Forestry Commission. There was a campaign being waged by one or two walkers to enforce their rights of access to footpaths and the RAC was being careful not to inflame the situation. At the last minute the event was able to go ahead but with a reduced mileage and shorter stages to avoid footpaths in the forests.

Although entry numbers were down, reflecting the tougher economic times, the quality was still there. A mixture of National Championship contenders and international stars preparing for the Lombard RAC. The event stalwart, Russell Brookes coming 'best of the rest' by beating the works teams to second place.

To make sure the event went ahead and stayed in Aberystwyth as its base the hoteliers of the town agreed amongst themselves to a voluntary levy on 'rally' beds sold This was expected to contibute £1000 to the event's income, a significant figure back then.