The Mayor of Carlisle has waved off the first few cars over the start line of the city's Pirelli Rally.
Drivers from across the UK are competing in the first round of the British Championship, watched by hundreds of local people who have turned out to support them. Competitors will now make their way to Kielder Forest for the first stage.
Several thousand people came to watch the first stage of the British rally in Carlisle and around Kielder Forest this weekend.
It was won by Jukka Korhonen and Marko Salminen who finished the final stage of the Pirelli Richard Burns Foundation Rally 42.5 seconds clear of the chasing pack.
The 29 year old is the first Finn to win a round of the MSA British Rally Championship since Jari-Matti Latvala ten years ago.
The next stage starts at Duns in the Scottish Borders on May 31st.
The British Rally Championship heads to the Scottish Borders and into the forests around Newcastleton today.
The second day of the Pirelli Richard Burns Foundation Rally rally kicks off at 10:04am.
The first stage of this year's British Rally Championship has got underway in Carlisle. Around a hundred drivers will be competing in and around Kielder Forest over the next two days.
Matthew Taylor reports
Drivers and co-divers have set off from Carlisle in the the first round of the British Rally Championship.
Vintage cars set off from the city centre at around 10:30am, followed by the Rally cars an hour later.
The event takes place in and around Kielder Forest this afternoon and tomorrow.
Driver Callum Barney in his vintage Ford Cortina Mk 1
Carlisle driver Peter Taylor, Culina Palletforce Racing.
More than 100 rally crews are heading into the forests today to take part in the RBF Pirelli Rally.
The event is the first round of the British Rally Championship and has attracted competitors from across Europe.
The rally kicks off with a ceremonial start in Carlisle town centre at 9.30am before the teams make their way to the stages near Pundershaw.
Spectators can get up close and personal to the cars and drivers at the rally headquarters based at Carlisle Racecourse.
For more information on what times the cars are in the stages, entry lists and spectator information, click here.
This year's British Rally championship kicks off in Carlisle tomorrow.
Top teams from around the world have started to arrive in the city and thousands of spectators are expected to flock to the Pirelli Rally over the weekend.
Ryan Dollard reports:
Hundreds of drivers have been tackling tough stages in Kielder Forest on the second day of the 2012 Pirelli Rally.
The event draws thousands of tourists to Cumbria and is thought to bring in two million pounds for the local economy.
The rally ends at Carlisle racecourse this afternoon.