Last year’s winners, Dave Leadbetter and Cath Woodman, BMW 2002, head the field in the East Anglian Classic, organised by the very experienced team from Chelmsford Motor Club headed up by Clerk of the Course Paul Brewerton. This event is the fourth round of the 2018 HRCR Hagerty Insurance Clubmans Road Rally Championship including the HRCR Amazon Cars Challenge Cup, and looks like being a closely fought battle. The EAC has an enviable reputation for some excellent special tests and this is a big draw for some of the northern crews with entries from the very quick Ruddock brothers, John in his two litre Mexico, with usual navigator Roger Burkill, and David, Vauxhall Magnum, with the ever smiling Nick Cooper, both crews’ potential winners. Also making the trip south are Darell and Nicky Staniforth, Mini Cooper S, no doubt hoping to resume their position at the top of the championship leader board after missing The Hughes a couple of weeks ago.
In the Championship Experts Class Andrew Johnson/Dave Boyes, Lancia Fulvia and Darren Everitt/Susan Dixon, Triumph 2000 are within 18 points of one another, with Gerry Simpson/Martin Phaff, in another Lancia Fulvia also within striking distance.
For the Novices Clive and Anji Martin have a 33 point lead from a hard charging Phil Wood/Iain Miller, Volvo P1800 so again it’s all to play for.
The HRCR Amazon Cars Challenge Cup is hotting up with three Master crews involved. Ian Crammond/Matthew Vokes, Mercedes Benz 280SL are chasing Dave and Cath in the BMW 2002 while Simon Mellings/Henry Carr, always a crew to be wary of, will be trying very hard to catch them.
Other folks to keep an eye on for a top ten result are Jon Dunning and Suzanne Barker, Alfa Romeo Giulia 2000 GTV, Peter Horsburgh with Richard Dix, Morris Mini Cooper S, and local crew James Griffiths and James Howell in their rapid Mini.
Reading the Final instructions the organisiers are warning crews that the airfield surface the tests will be held on can be very abrasive, especially for the more flamboyant driver, and recommend they take at least two spares to ensure their tyres stay road legal during the event.
The top eleven seeds are
1, Dave Leadbetter and Cath Woodman, M2, BMW 2002
2, Ian Crammond and Matthew Vokes, M1, Mercedes Benz 280SL
3, Simon Mellings and Henry Carr, M4, Nissan Stanza
4, Gavin Rogers and Carrie Rogers, M2, Reliant Scimitar
5, Darell Staniforth and Nicky Staniforth, M1, Morris Mini Cooper S
6, John Ruddock and Roger Burkill, M2, Ford Escort Mexico
7, Thomas Bricknell and Roger Bricknell, M4, VW Golf GTi
8, John Haygarth and David Taylor, M2, Opel Kadett Rallye
9, David Ruddock and Nick Cooper, M2, Vauxhall Magnum
10, Stephen Johnson and Les McGuffog, M2, Ford Escort RS2000
11, James Griffiths and James Howell, M2, Austin Mini 1275 GT
Thank you to Andy Manston of MandHPhotography for all the pictures
See you there