1st Aug 2021
Tavern Motor Club
Tavern Motor Club sadly lost Bob Rutherford one of their Club stalwarts and the rallies Deputy Clerk in the run up to the Cotswold Historic, Gavin Rogers with Andy Lowe and Keith Emery must take huge praise for managing to put on the Rally in such difficult circumstances. The event was hugely popular with all the crews at the finish, something Bob would have been proud of
Winners Paul Crosby and Andy Pullan (Porsche 911) had a day long battle with Dan Willan and Ali Procter (Volvo PV544), Paul and Dan share a 2CV for 24 hour racing so it was only natural that they’d be at each other from the start. Third place went to Matt Warren and Ryan Pickering (Escort) Matt bemoaning that he hadn’t rallied in 2 years and Ryan claiming an even longer sabbatical
From the start at the Cotswold Edge Golf Club crews were immediately pitched into the 1st Test a farm track where Willan/Procter proved they were wide awake taking ftd from Steve Head/Graham Raeburn (Escort). The dubious honour of first retirement fell to Martin Short/Martin Phaff (Fulvia) with coil and distributor woes, this was sportscar legend Short’s first rally but he has promised to come out again next year
The rally now progressed with 3 pre plot Regularities based around Chipping Sodbury and Westonbirt, the first taken by Willan/Procter from Head/Raeburn, the second saw Crosby/Pullan share the lead with Howard Warren/Iain Tullie (Porsche 911) and Dave Leadbetter/Cath Wildman (BMW 2002) whilst the third went to Darell/Nicky Staniforth (Cooper S) from Crosby/Pullan. This last Reg saw M Warren/Pickering lose 55 seconds negotiating a caravan within sight of the Control and Clive/Anji Martin (Escort) loose a Control maximum of a minute in similar fashion
Tests 2 and 3 followed, the same open airfield Test run twice, it’s always interesting to see who learns from the first run and whilst Crosby/Pullan and the Staniforths topped the times on both runs, it was was “Cros” who shaved the most off 7 seconds to Darell’s 3. The Leadbetter/Woodman BMW suffered a 9 minute Test maximum here and with an engine mount failure, retirement beckoned
Dave Leadbetter and Cath Woodman Before Retirement. M&H Photography
At the lunch halt the top 10 crews were covered by a minute, though even some of these were struggling, Thomas/Roger Bricknell (Golf GTi) were tie wrapping the clutch pedal back in place and Mark Goodwin/Anthony Davies (Dolomite Sprint) were worried about their overheating engine.
Tests 4 + 5 at Charlton Park were entertaining laps on the loose, M Warren/Pickering taking both ftd’s from Willan/Procter this led to Regularity 4 with limited plotting time. A number of crews suffered Control maximums including the Staniforths and Roger Fildes/Dan Middle (MGB) whilst Crosby/Pullan only lost one second throughout!
Matt Warren and Ryan Pickering on the tests at Charlton Park. M&H Photography
Regularity 5 around Ampney Crucis and across the Welsh Way saw the Porsche’s of H Warren/Tullie and Crosby/Pullan joined by Ian Crammond/Matt Vokes (Mercedes 280SL) on the least penalties
Four more Tests followed at Kemble and Charlton Park with Willan/Procter and the Staniforths taking the first and Crosby/Pullan and the Staniforths the second, the next two were shared by Willan/Procter and M Warren/Pickeringt
The organising team had promised that the navigation would get progressively harder through the day, promise kept, the final Reg 6 was very difficult to plot from a handout as cars left the start control involving plotting a route which discounted roads that petered out whilst trying to maintain your speed over the bumps, no surprise Crosby/Pullan and Crammond/Vokes rose to the challenge
A short hop through the final Test, pinched by M Warren/Pickering, brought crews back the Cotswold Edge Golf Club where results were speedy and praise lavish for all the hard work by Tavern Motor Club on their first Historic Road Rally Championship event.
All photos courtesy of M&H Photography
results:- Crosby/Pullan (Porsche 911) 29.17; Willan/Procter (PV544) 30.09; M Warren/Pickering (Escort) 30.27; Bricknell/Bricknell (Golf GTi) 31.10; Staniforth/Staniforth (Cooper S) 31.23; Head/Raeburn (Escort) 31.37; Crammond/Vokes (Merc 280 SL) 31.52; Griffiths/Howell (Mini 1275GT) 32.04; H Warren/Tullie (Porsche 911) 32.22; John Dunning/Henry Carr (Alfa 2000 GTV) 32.44
experts: Head/Raeburn (Escort) novice: Fildes/Middle (MGB) clubman: Lewis Ayris/Kim Bannister (MGB)