Chris Birkbeck Rally School

Price: £200 (full day) Drive time: 49 minutes

There’s a cracking mix of stages, split pretty much equally between gravel and tarmac, at Chris Birkbeck’s operation on the Teesside coast. As with our winner, the atmosphere is personal and friendly, and unlike some other courses, you don’t have to wait around too long before it’s your turn at the wheel. Our only real niggle is the cars. A front-wheel-drive Ford Focus may match today’s rally machinery, but there’s nothing like going sideways in an old Escort for driving thrills. However, the up-to-date models allow you to feel the changes in grip on different surfaces and are well suited to learning the art of the handbrake turn. More time behind the wheel would be welcome, but this remains a good day out. Recommended.

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