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Ilkley Jubilee Rally 2023 Preview

By John King

The Ilkley Jubilee Historic Rally returns with what looks like the toughest competing field since the Gremlin Rally earlier in the year. The event, which is one of the most popular on the calendar, will once again be starting from Leyburn on the edge of the Yorkshire Dales and finishing at the Golf Club in Catterick Garrison. The tests look to be fun with the use of military ranges near Catterick and the Farm land nearby. 

After seven championship events Leigh Powley has managed to move ahead of the chasing pack and looks on target for a well-deserved win. Although he will be more than aware of the bad luck that befell previous championship leader Ken Binstead during the St. Wilfrids Classic. 

Leigh Powley and Brian Goff (Toyota Corolla) will be looking to consolidate their positions in the Championship. Photo by Mike Cowlam.

Leigh and the others near the top of the drivers’ championship will come under pressure from the returning Paul Crosby in his Porsche 911 who will be ably guided by Oli Waldock and Mike and Mathew Vokes in the impressive Ginetta G15. Other notable master’s crews on this event include Nick Pullan/Ian Canavan, Stephen Owens/Nick Bloxham, Darrel Staniforth/Nicky Staniforth and David Alcock/Martyn Taylor – All are more than capable of pulling off a win. It will also be good to see the return of Noel Kelly guided by Peter Johnson. 

Darell and Nicky Staniforth, last years winners out once again in 2023 this time in the Toyota Corolla.  Photo by Henry Kitching.

The Navigators Championship could be blown wide open as to date there is no entry from current leader Iain Tullie. This could give Henry Carr the opportunity to move ahead with the likes of Peter Blackett and Sarah Binstead with the chance to close the gap. All of those mentioned will of course be feeling the presence of Brian Goff who is poised ready to pounce on any slip-ups ahead. 

In each of the other classes the fight for honors is as tough as you would expect. The impressive Phil Wood in his Porsche 924S remains ahead in the Expert Driver followed by second placed John King in the MR2 who will be guided in this event by Martin Pitt. The ever consistent Les Andrew will be looking to put pressure on the leading pair and with Roger Fildes missing from this event it will give Hugh Garnish, Paul Heaney, and Angus McQueen the opportunity to advance. 

The Expert Navigators are headed by Peter Blackett. Although Kelvin Phipps,  Mike Cochrane, David Bell, Lynsey Procter, and Sandra Heaney will all be looking to take make up points as we head into the last quarter of the season.

Graeme Cornthwaite and Lynsey Procter (Morris Mini) 6th overall in 2022 will be back out this year chasing points. Photo by Mike Cowlam.

The Novice Drivers class is headed by Peter Higton who managed to extend his lead from Phil Cheek during the last event. Nigel Woof and David Morris are hot on their heels. Novice Navigators are headed by Oli Waldock who is being closely chased by Chris Rhodes and Sally Woof. 

We have now reached the business end of the championship. With many competitors in all classes already missing two scores and knowing that one further DNF will scupper their chances. Therefore, it is so important that the third member of the team – the car – keeps reliable. Good luck to everyone. 

All Photos in the gallery above by kind permission of Mike Cowlam.