The Ross Traders Historic Rally & Targa Rally is the fifth round of the 2018 HRCR Hagerty Insurance Clubmans Road Rally Championship including the HRCR Amazon Cars Challenge Cup, and has a full entry of 60 cars and 41 of them have a championship competitor in the crew. There are many of the regulars and some new names. Last year’s winning navigator, Andy Pullan, is teamed up with Paul Crosby, who was second last year with Nick Bloxham, so they will be a hard team to beat, although I’m sure Howard Warren and Iain Tullie and Ian Crammond and Matthew Vokes will try their hardest to make sure they don’t! While East Anglian Classic winning driver, John Haygarth, Opel Kadette Rallye is out with his regular map man, 2015 Championship winning navigator Bob Hargreaves, so I’m sure they will be trying hard for a good result too!
I’m especially pleased to see the new crew of Elliot Dale and Charlotte Ryall in another 1937 Bentley Derby, whether Stuart and Emily Anderson have had a hand in this I don’t know but I hope they enjoy themselves. Let’s hope the test layouts are not too tight for them to have some fun, and consider joining the championship in the future. Another new pairing will be Phil Wood and David Bell, Volvo P1800. Phil’s usual navigator Iain Miller is not available so David has stepped in to gain some more Regularity experience, so I hope it all works out well for them as I was instrumental in teaming them up!
Making a welcome return to the series is Tim Sawyer with stalwart championship competitor, Suzanne Barker, in his newly acquired Mk1 Escort this being the rebuilt car that Keith Colman and David Taylor managed to barrier test against a concrete block on the Tour of Cheshire some years ago, 2010 I think it was. He had to travel to Norfolk for it and could not believe what a “fun” journey it was!
It’s great to see another Motoring News star out on these events; this time it’s John Bloxham. Martin Phaff tells me he saw John at the HRCR Open Day this year and asked him if he fancied a go in his Lancia Fulvia, and he kindly agreed. Apparently, John drove a similar car in some of the events in 1969 when he won the Motoring News championship. No pressure then Martin?
With 23 Masters, 16 Experts and 20 Novices the field is fairly evenly split so previous calls for amending the expert class definition may have been premature, but still something for consideration I think
Here is a reminder of the top ten championship positions for drivers and navigators after round 4, The East Anglian Classic
Dave Leadbetter, M2 185 Henry Carr, M2+4 190
Clive Martin, N2 164 Cath Woodman,M2 185
Ian Crammond, M1 159 Susan Dixon, M1 166
Andrew Johnson, E2 156 Anji Martin, N2 164
John Haygarth, M2 154 Les McGuffog, M2 162
Darren Everitt, M1 146 Matthew Vokes, M1 159
Jon Dunning, M2 141 David Boyes, E2 156
Thomas Bricknell,M4 141 David Taylor, M2 142
James Griffiths, M2 136 Roger Bricknell, M4 141
Ken Binstead, N2 133 James Howell, M2 136
Dave Leadbetter is also the current the leader of the HRCR Amazon Cars Challenge Cup, and Cath Woodman is well on the way to winning the inaugural presentation of the HRCR Gibson-Purdy Trophy for those crews using either a mechanical trip or Curta.
So the top ten drivers have ten different makes of car which makes it a really interesting championship with each of the placing for drivers and navigators not within the same crew, if that makes sense. Obviously there is a long way to go yet, but who will come out in front this year I wonder.
The Ross Traders has the reputation of being a tough event which is something it prides itself on, but nevertheless it has a full entry with a fairly even balance of experience classes, so it’s obvious the competitors like what they do.
Here are the top ten
1, Paul Crosby/Andy Pullan, M2, Porsche 911
2, Howard Warren/Iain Tullie, M2, Porsche 911
3, Ian Crammond/Matthew Vokes, M1, Mercedes Benz 280 SL
4, David Leadbetter/Cath Woodman, M2, BMW 2002
5, John Abel/Mark Appleton, M2, Ford Escort RS2000
6, Darell Staniforth/Nicky Staniforth, M1, Morris Mini Cooper S
7, Thomas Bricknell/Roger Bricknell, M4, VW Golf Gti
8, Simon Mellings/Henry Carr, M4, Nissan Stanza
9, Jon Dunning/David Taylor, M2, Alfa Romeo Guilia GTV
10, Nick Bloxham/Richard Crozier, M2, Ford Escort Mexico
With thanks to Daisyroots Photography for last year’s photographs that accompany this.
Look forward to seeing you all in Ross-on-Wye at the weekend.