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Cotswold Historic Preview

By Anji Martin

With the St Wilfrid’s Classic cancelled and the East Anglian Classic taking place the weekend before we enter the second half of the HRCR Clubman’s Road Rally Championship with the Cotswold Classic now in its fourth year boasting a strong full entry of 75 including the 19 in the Clubman’s class.

Martin Oglesby with Rod Carter (Opel Kadett Rallye) on the Cotswold tests in 2023.  They managed to achieve 13 overall.

Clerk of Course, Gavin Rogers with Tavern Motor club promise us a full day of rallying with 6 regularities covering 95 miles of the Cotswold’s around Cirencester.  Eight tests at 2 locations – Kemble airfield and Charlton Park bring a real mix of surfaces from smooth tarmac to gravel, something for the 75 crews in 30 plus different models of car to enjoy.

Last years winners Leigh Powley and Mark Appleton are not entered but could Elliot Dale & Charlotte Ryall better their 2nd place this time although they are not entered in the championship this year.

Elliot Dale and Charlotte Ryall (Ford Escort) could go one better after their 2nd overall in 2023.  Photo by M&H Photography.

In the Master’s class all top five championship contenders have entered – will Ian Crammond (Mercedes) have extended his lead or might Ken Binstead (MGB) or John King (MR2) have closed the gap after the East Anglian and for the Navigators, Ryan Pickering is back with Matt Fowle (Escort) who is closely followed by Matthew Vokes and Henry Carr piloting Darrell Staniforth (Corolla) and Sarah Binstead. But we are missing James Griffiths & James Howell, Ian Tullie and Roger Fildes for this round so expect positions to change lower down in the Masters.

John King is out with Oli Waldock this year after achieving 3rd overall with Martin Pitt in 2023. Toyota MR2.  Photo by M&H Photography.

Experts – David Mann & Ian Doble (MGC) and Paul & Sandra Heaney (TR6) are entered, Andrew Parr has John Youd (Austin Mini Cooper S) sat beside him this time with Bob Duck missing this round.  Closely following are Peter Engel & Mark Dunkerley (Eunos), Peter Highton this time with Phil Savage (MX5) in the Navigators seat but with Peter Engel missing the East Anglian these two could have swopped places by the time we get to Cirencester.

Novices – Just three points separate David Morris & Jac Wales (MG BGT) and Phil Cheek & Graeme Presswell (Hilman Hartwell Avenger) and both crews head to East Anglia so a close fight is developing between the two top novice crews.

Photos by Kind permission of M&H Photography