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Ian and Matthew win on the Tour of Cheshire

Once again Ian Crammond and Matthew Vokes in their trusty Mercedes Benz 280SL were the crew to beat on the Tour of Cheshire, the eighth round of the 2018 HRCR Hagerty Insurance Clubmans Road Rally Championship and HRCR Amazon Cars Challenge Cup. The event was held on a beautiful autumnal day with sunshine for most of the time in sharp contrast to the originally planned day in March. As usual it was a closely fought battle, this time with Paul Crosby and Ali Procter in the Porsche 911. Les Andrew and Martin Phaff, MGBGT, won the HRCR Amazon Cars Challenge Cup for the second time this year and both crew members were very pleased. This was the first time Martin had navigated in an MGBGT and it seems to have agreed with him. Another crew to do exceptionally well was Jon Wright and Andy Pullan who finished a very creditable third overall considering this was Jon’s first regularity event and using Martin Phaff’s Lancia Fulvia. Judging by the photograph below from Tony North he was definitely giving the Lancia some exercise.

This was a tough event and one crew member remarked

I never really look forward to the ToC but I thought that yesterday’s event was well worth the wait – they really used the roads to good affect and the tests were also very good – open and flowing – and not unduly influencing the result”.

There were a number of off-road regularities which caught out quite a few competitors either missing ITC’s or gaining a wrong approach and there was much discussion at the end, but all in all everyone was very pleased with a tough, full-on, but fair days rallying.

The championship still has some close battles with John Haygarth and Thomas Bricknell tying on 310 points for the drivers while Nicky Staniforth is just 1 point ahead of Andy Pullan in the navigators table. In the Experts class Andrew Johnson, Lancia Fulvia, has a nine point lead from Les Andrew, MGBGT, while Novice class  leaders Clive and Anji Martin, Ford Escort, are just eight and nine  points ahead of Ken and Sarah Binstead, MGB.

So the final round, The Devils Own in three weeks’ time, will be the deciding event once again for many of the crews in class and category winning positions.

The top ten were

1, Ian Crammond and Matthew Vokes, M1, Mercedes Benz 280Sl, 791

2, Paul Crosby and Ali Procter, M2, Porsche 911, 815

3, Jon Wright and Andy Pullan, M1, Lancia Fulvia, 882

4, Richard Isherwood and Ian Canavan, M4, Nissan Stanza Jubilee, 938

5, Dave Smith and Pete Johnson, M4, Austin Maestro, 958

6, John Haygarth and Bob Hargreaves, M2, Opel Kadett Rallye, 959

7,Thomas Bricknell and Nicky Staniforth, M4, VW Golf mk1 GTi, 970

8, Simon Harris and Dan Middle, M4, VW Golf GTi, 1012

9, Les Andrew and Martin Phaff, M3, MGBGT, 1104

10, Martyn Taylor and Amy Henchoz, M4, Vauxhall Astra, 1140

Here is a selection of photographs from the event with thanks once again to Tony North.

Gill and I are looking forward to catching up with everyone once again in the Lake District for our last event as Championship Secretary.