Last year’s winning driver, Simon Mellings, this year partnered with Paul Bosdet, will lead the field away with the winning crew from The Ross Traders, Ian Crammond and Matthew Vokes at two. 38 of the 58 entries have at least one member registered for the HRCR Hagerty Insurance Clubmans Road Rally Championship with twenty-one of the crews being in the Masters class with thirteen Experts and the remainder Novices.
It will be another closely fought battle for drivers’ championship points with Ian Crammond, M1, having a 17 point lead over John Haygarth, (197)M2, Thomas Bricknell, (190)M4, Dave Leadbetter,(187) M2 , and Jon Dunning, (186) M2.
Ian Crammond is also leading the HRCR Amazon Cars Challenge Cup. It’s great to see a Category 1 vehicle leading the championship especially as it is being driven to and from the events.
In the Expert drivers class Andrew Johnson, E2, has a 39 point lead to Les Andrew, E3. While in the closely fought Novices class Clive Martin, (188)N2, is a slender nine points in front of Ken Binstead, N2.
Looking at the navigators’ championship positions Matthew Vokes on 214 leads the field although there is still a close contest with Henry Carr 192, Roger Bricknell 190, Cath Woodman and David Taylor 187 with Richard Dix just nine behind on 178.
Dave Boyes has a lead of 19 points in the Experts class to Martin Phaff with Suzanne Barker a further 12 in arrears, while Anji Martin 188 and Sarah Binstead 179 are in a close contest for Novice honours, although Iain Miller and Ros Simpson are not out of contention yet.
I’ve had a chance to look at the route which Sam Wainwright and the team from Ripon Motor Club have devised and it looks to be a good mix of navigation, roads and tests to keep everyone fully entertained during the day. There have been five different crews and vehicles winning the championship events this year so I hope we have another new team taking the honours on Sunday.
Stuart and Emily Anderson will be out again in their wonderful Bentley Derby, and also making a welcome return will be Harvey Steele and Martin Pitt in their Volvo 144 that thinks it’s a mk1 Escort. Phil Wood will have regular map man, Iain Miller, back with him while Martyn Taylor and Amy Henchoz are out in the Astra. Rowena Purdy, Porsche 912, has Clare Nedin on the maps so I hope Clare has an enjoyable event after the trek up from South Wales.
A note of warning to anyone going to see the start of the rally in Ripon town square though, please keep a wary eye on parking restrictions and fees payable on Sunday morning! Gill and I fell foul to them last year, but a very kind Harrogate Council let us off following my begging letter, so I doubt they will be so lenient this year.
Here is a selection of photographs from the 2017 event courtesy of Tony North
The top ten seeds are
1, Simon Mellings and Paul Bosdet, M4, Nissan Stanza
2, Ian Crammond and Matthew Vokes, M1, Mercedes Benz 280SL
3, Paul Crosby and Andy Pullan, M2, Porsche 911
4, Thomas and Roger Bricknell, M4, VW Golf GT1
5, Howard Warren and Iain Tullie, M2, Porsche 911 Coupe
6, Dave Leadbetter and Cath Woodman, M2, BMW 2002
7, Jon Dunning and Henry Carr, M2, Alfa Romeo Giulia 2000 GTV
8, John Haygarth and Bob Hargreaves, M2, Opel Kadette Rallye
9, John Ruddock and Les McGuffog, M2, Ford Escort Mexico
10, Darell and Nicky Staniforth, M1, Morris Mini Cooper S
Gill and I look forward to seeing you all in sunny Yorkshire.