The pressure was really applied to Ali Procter as Guy Woodcock’s third navigator for this mini version of the notorious HERO Rally of the Tests but they managed to pull it off giving Guy the hat-trick of wins on this event with two different cars and three different navigators. They did not have an easy day though, also drowning out in “Dry Lane” requiring a push up the hill by several crews to clear the road; the water mark on Ali’s jeans at the finish being testament to the water depth.
Martyn Taylor and his team from the Kirkby Lonsdale Motor Club created another challenging event for the final round of the 2018 HRCR Hagerty Insurance Clubmans Road Rally Championship incorporating the HRCR Amazon Cars Challenge Cup. Champions in waiting, Ian Crammond and Matthew Vokes had a drama filled day when they drowned out in the Winster ford filling the Merc’s engine with water. They lost about thirty minutes removing the plugs to flush the water out of the cylinders.
Matt Warren and Andy Pullan broke the Escorts prop-shaft in Regularity 6 which meant the close battle for championship navigator position between Andy and Nicky was resolved in Nicky’s favour.
Although the driver’s championship was clearly Ian’s the navigator’s championship position relied on Ian and Matthew getting a top 20 result to stay in contention for the honours, so the various dramas during the day kept them on edge.
Matthew was uncharacteristically quite agitated at the finish awaiting the first iteration of the results because he had no idea where they were on the leader board being one of the crews who had to push Guy and Ali up the hill when they drowned out!
The battle for the Experts class in the championship was between Andrew Johnson/Dave Boyes and Les Andrew/Nick Middleton. It all seemed to go wrong for Andrew and Dave on Reg1, but at the moment I’m not sure why. Gary Evans navigated Les Andrew to a fine 13th overall securing him the top of the Expert drivers. Martin Phaff, our new Championship Secretary, has overtaken both Dave Boyes and Suzanne Barker who were tied at the top of the class and took the Expert navigator positon. Suzanne marshalled on the event to gain some valuable points but it seems Dave and Andrew just had one of those events at just the wrong time.
The Novice class was also hotly contested with Clive and Anji Martin having an 8 point lead over Ken and Sarah Binstead before the event. Clive and Anji marshalled to gain some extra points as they are saving the car for Rally of the Tests in a couple of weeks’ time so the pressure was on Ken and Sarah to make up the difference, and although they put in a gallant effort by only missing TP6.1 in Reg 6 “Finch’s Favourite” they closed the gap to just two points so well done to them and to Clive and Anji.
Simon Mellings and Cath Woodman collected the HRCR Amazon Cars Challenge Cup mugs for the event.
It’s interesting to see that there are four different car categories in the top 4 places with John Haygarth and Bob Hargreaves being the highest placed championship crew. Congratulations to Graham Raeburn finishing 5th having not seen him on one of these events for a long time.
Here is a selection of photographs from Tony North which give you a good feel for the event.
The top eleven were
1, Guy Woodcock and Ali Procter, M3, Ford Escort, 10:56s
2, Geoff Hall and Paul Bosdet, M1, Austin Mini Cooper S, 12:20s
3, John Haygarth and Bob Hargreaves, M2, Opel Kadett Rallye, 12:41s
4, Thomas Bricknell and Roger Bricknell, M4, VW Golf GTi, 13:14s
5, Steve Head and Graham Raeburn, M3, Ford Escort, 14;21s
6, Simon Mellings and Cath Woodman, M4, Nissan Stanza, 14;27s
7, Nick Bloxham and Richard Crozier, M2, Ford Escort Mexico, 14;38s
8, Paul Wignall and Mark Appleton, M1, Alfa Romeo Giulietta Sprint, 15:03s
9, Richard Isherwood and Ian Canavan, M4, Nissan Stanza Jubilee, 16:12s
10, Andrew Buzzard and Robb Lyne, M3, Ford Escort, 16:32s
11, Darell Staniforth and Nicky Staniforth, M1, Morris Mini Coper S, 16:36s
PS Championship points in preparation, holidays to-morrow.