Howard Warren and Iain Tullie, Porsche 911, won the first round of the 2017 Hagerty Insurance Clubmans Road Rally Championship, The Tour of Cheshire, organised by the Knutsford and District Motor Club. Hot on their heels 12 seconds adrift were last year’s winners Matt Warren and Andy Pullan, Ford Escort mk1 with Ian Crammond and Matthew Vokes, Mercedes-Benz 280SL, a further 15 seconds down. With eight different marques in the top 10 ranging from a 1963 Porsche 356 to a 1985 Vauxhall Astra GTE there is a fascinating selection of cars competing in the championship.
1 Howard Warren & Iain Tullie, Porsche 911, 814
2 Matt Warren & Andy Pullan, Ford Escort mk1, 826
3 Ian Crammond & Matthew Vokes, Mercedes-Benz 280SL, 841
4 John Abel & Martyn Taylor, Ford Escort RS2000, 852
5 Russell Smith & Dan Harrison, Triumph Dolomite Sprint, 891
6 Dave Leadbetter & Cath Woodman, BMW 2002, 898
7 Simon Mellings & Ryan Pickering, Vauxhall Astra GTE, 930
8 Dave Smith & Pete Johnson, Austin Maestro, 959
9 Charles Colton & Richard Bestwick, Porsche 356, 968
10 Tony Newman & Paul Chavasse, Austin Mini Cooper S 985
There are 100 registered contenders for the championship at the moment and 79 of you scored points on this opening round either organising, competing or marshalling.
The first winner of the HRCR Amazon Cars CHALLENGE CUP was Ian Crammond in his Mercedes-Benz 280SL. This Challenge is open to all marques of car and not just Volvos with awards at every event, so if you do drive your competition car to and from the rallies then do consider registering. Each individual can only win the award twice so there are potentially seven different winners during the season, so give it some thought, it’s not too late to register. There are currently 2o registered for the Challenge Cup and I’m sure there are many more of you out there who are eligible. If you are not sure then drop me an email.
While the Hagerty Insurance Spirit of the Rally award went to Keith Davis. Keith spent a good portion of Friday night repairing a rear wheel bearing on Andrew Twort’s Triumph Herald only for Keith to then struggle through the morning of the rally with a slipping overdrive unit on his MGBGT. Andrew and Claudine subsequently retired at Regularity E when the other wheel bearing began to make unpleasant noises, and then succumbed to failure on their way back to Ullapool.
Gill and I spent the day with Roger Hedley who was planning to navigate for Phil Cheek. Phil and Roger passed scrutineering and then while out on the trip calibration the electrics on their Avenger decided to pack up with a suspected broken wire in the loom under the dash; not a quick fix. We watched the tests at Beeston then spent a pleasant hour at lunch helping the less experienced navigators decipher the instructions in the handouts before marshalling at ITCG6.
The navigation Q and A session hosted by Iain Tullie and Andy Pullan was very well received by the Novice navigators and they had a steady stream of queries for about an hour while the results were being calculated. As it proved so successful I shall arrange another session at the end of the North Yorkshire Classic.
The navigation handouts themselves were not too onerous, but unfortunately one or two errors had crept in that made them more time consuming than necessary to decipher and several navigators of all abilities missed their lunch. There was whole-hearted agreement from everyone that Regularity E on the Cheshire Showground was absolutely “spot-on” with sensible speeds making it very enjoyable for all. Although there were one or two grumbles about the complexity of the speed changes on some of the other Regularities. Personally, I prefer easier navigation and more speed changes so that all the competitors can plot with confidence, learn how to successfully navigate the route, and then have to master the skill of the timing.
I’m not going to write too much about the various competitors as Ryan Pickering “volunteered” to write the report for Old Stager and I don’t want to spoil the tale. With seven Regularities having 37 ITCs and 10 Tests it was certainly a challenging opening event to the championship.
I have posted the points table on the HRCR website so you can download and examine them in detail. Any queries please email; you will see they are labelled version 2 as I ‘ve added some marshalling points since initial publication. This is the first attempt with the new points system, so check thoroughly please!
The next round is the North Yorkshire Classic on Sunday 26 March 2017 and Gill and I look forward to seeing there.
More photos of the Tour of Cheshire from Tony Large below.