By Andrew Parr
A fine entry of 54 Clubmans crews and 10 Targa competitors gathered at the Leyburn Auction Mart to enjoy glorious September sunshine in contrast to the cold and damp of last years November start. The rally therefore avoiding the darkness of last year and basked in bright sun all day. Early sustenance of the best bacon cobs in Yorkshire was provided to the waiting crews by the auction mart staff.
The Catterick military ranges were available this year and formed the backbone of the event. Headed by last years winners Darell and Nicky Staniforth, a short run out led to the first of the two tests on fast and fairly good concrete and tarmac, rendered slippery by a coating of mud and leaves. Rikki Proffit put the power and traction of the 911 to good use, Graham Wild guiding him to fastest on both tests.
It was then straight into regularity 1, a 6.3 mile Jogularity over the gravel of the ranges with directions every quarter of a mile or so, setting the tone of the event and keeping everyone on their toes. The Vokes’s took this one in the Ginetta on 10 seconds with Dan Willan and Ryan Pickering only 8 s behind.
Mike and Matthew Vokes (Ginetta G15) just 10 seconds of penalties on reg 1. Photo by Tony North.
A twisty route like a mini forest stage but slower, wound its way through the trees on Catterick for the wonderfully named Hagworm Hill of test 3. Sadly a particularly slippery corner saw Nick Pullen drop off the edge and park the Peugeot against the trees. The crews were thankfully out and walking when we arrived and the early warning probably prevented others suffering the same fate. Later events proved they were not alone in visiting the scenery of the ranges! Neil and Claire Raven topped the timesheets, proving you can keep a 205 on the road. Sterling performances were put up by Targa crew the Bennets, their Mini Cooper being the meat in a 3 s sandwich with the Staniforth’s and Powley/Goff as the bread, some 20ish second behind the Ravens.
Crews started the second regularity directly from the test finish with grid lines, eastings and northings leading back to a welcome coffee at Tennants, just outside Leyburn. A NAM buried in the instructions caught out a number of crews who missed an IRTC. Dan Willan/Ryan Pickering and the Vokes’s tied on 16 s with Graham Cornthwaite/Lynsey Procter only 1s behind. It’s tight at the top.
Coffee was followed by regularity 3 at manor farm. A series of tulips diagrams provided a short but challenging two and a half mile affair to finish at Washfold Farm just north of Leyburn, including a short stretch of public road and a couple of rough whites. Sarah Binstead was on the ball here, ensuring Ken lost just 9 s followed by the ever present Willan/Pickering on 11s.
Quarry working caused test 4 to be cancelled although at least one of the Mini crews didnt miss the rough going. A gentle run through the quarry took crews to the start of reg4. This was simply defined by map features: a level crossing (no trains on a Sunday), river crossings and 34 green dots. The route went from Redmire through the picturesque Coverdale and the very narrow lanes on the southern side of the vally to East Witton. Penalties in single figures were seen on this, ten crews being within 10s headed by Willan/Pickering, the Voke’s and Andy Harrison/ Henry Carr on 4s apiece.
The last section before lunch, reg 5, started from Jervaux Abbey and used a herring bone to guide the competitors along narrow yellows and a couple of rough whites west of Masham. Again small penalties were the order of the day with Stephen Owens and Nick Bloxham coming out best on 7s.
Lunch back at the auction mart was a short affair for many as the additional 15mins allowed at coffee for late running was absorbed to keep the event on schedule.
A series of four tests kicked off the afternoon, starting with a short blast up the tracks of manor farm. Dad and daughter Staniforth took the honours here on 17 s, chased by 5 other crews within 2s of their time. The infamous sludge tank followed, thankfully nobody willing to follow the Beetle pictured on the test diagram. Being a short test, times were again very tight with Paul Crosby, Darell Staniforth and David Alcock beating the bogey and a myriad of others within 5s. Tests 7 was a run around the cones of Bivouac, starting on the loose but mainly tarmac. This was the only around the cones test which pleased the majority who like a more open flowing challenge. The Staniforth’s and Hugh Garnish/David Bell proved to be the quickest, both beating the bogey time. Test 8 was a rerun of Hagworm hill, by which time the afternoon sun had dried out the worst of the slippery bits. Having been amongst the top crews all day, Dan Willan and Ryan Pickering now topped the times on 16s, sharing the honour with Richard Wardle and James Greenhaugh.
Darell and Nicky Staniforth (Toyota Corolla) pressing on in the sunshine at Catterick. Photo by Tony North.
Regularity 6 used tulips to make good use of the gravel tracks on the ranges. Top times here were recorded by cars 42, the Porsche 944 of Rob Clifton and Correy Powell-Jones on 11s and car 25 , Nigel and Sally Woof in their Golf GTi on 12s (just reward for a trying day). Your correspondents day ended here on the last corner of reg 6, getting caught out by a downhill left and parking the mini gently but irrevocably in the ditch.
Oops, Andrew Parr and Bob Duck a bit stuck on reg 6. Photo by Andrew Parr.
Test 9 and 10 were re-runs of 1 and 2 from the morning. Rikki Proffitt again put his stage rally experience to good use in the 911 by repeating the morning performance and being the fastest on Test 9. David Alcock and Martyn Taylor hustled the big Datsun to fasted on Test 10 sharing the honour with Targa crew Matthews and Chen.
Reg 7 went south from Catterick along mainly wide yellows to finish Bedale. The grid of instructions was handed out at MTC1 but handouts enroute specified the order in which they were to be used. The resulting plot and bash provided a bit of head scratching for some navigators although not for Dan and Ryan who only lost 1s; and the top ten were all within 5s.
The final reg was defined by direction arrive and depart colours, this caused some consternation when handed out at the start as it seemed to have a glitch in the middle. However clarification arrived with an amendment to delete the rogue instruction. Noel Kelly and Pete Johnson recorded the best time on with with 12s.
A fairly high rate of attrition resulted in 4-0 crews being classed as finishers with over exuberance and various mechanical and electrical woes accounting for the remainder. The finishers and walking wounded retired to enjoy a carvery dinner and a welcome bar at the Catterick Golf club much talk was heard about a chained gateway which appeared to affect some crews more than others, although blank spaces on the results of reg 7 confirmed the section to be scrubbed. Despite it being a lovely sunny weekend, reports of baulking by farm traffic and others were fortunately few. Although there is an extra burden on organizers when the military allow the use of the ranges it does make for a different style of event which meets general approval from the competitors. Congratulations are therefore due to the organising team and all the marshals for putting on an excellent event.
Congratulations to all prize winners, especially to Dan Willan and Ryan Pickering whose consistency resulted in an a well earned win.
A full list of results can be found at the following: https://www.rallyroots.com/2023/IlkleyJubilee2023_Overall.pdf
All gallery photos by kind permission of Tony North