HRCR Mintex ‘old STAGER’ Asphalt Stage Rally Championship 2016 incorporating the Mini Sport Mini Challenge.
Title: Kings takes back crown
The final two rounds of the HRCR Mintex ‘old STAGER’ Asphalt Stage Rally Championship inc Mini Sport Mini challenge took place over three days of September on the Isle of Man. Famous for its TT Races the event stages covered 167 Stages miles and 424 road miles during the event.
The forecast was predicting rain earlier in the week however this was not to be, and glorious sun welcomed the competitors to the Island and over the three days of motorsport.
17 HRCR Crews entered the event with 12 mini making up the Mini Sport Mini Challenge. This included four minis coming over from Japan to take part in the rally. We managed to line up 18 Minis in the start finish Grandstand.
The first leg of the event started Thursday night going on to Friday afternoon consisting of nine stages. Event 2 consists of Friday night into Saturday afternoon, 11 Stages in total.
Stephen Hall / Aggie Foster made a welcome return to the championship in their TR4. They had a good event without any major hiccups enjoying the closed road rallying. Geoff Taylor / Steve Greenhill in the imp sport also made the journey across the water. The imp unfortunately cried enough on stage 18 so close to the finish.
The Mini of Shane Gamble / Bob Ward had an eventful start to the event with them going off and hitting a rather heavy tree causing significant damage to the rear of the Mini. Adrian Kermode / Maurice Beckett had a good run actually beating a Mitsubishi Evo on the first stage in a head to head fight along the promenade. The Second event wasn’t so lucky for them, having to stop on the last stage but eventually crossing the finishing line. Peter Ellerby / Paul Price had a good run only needing to change a brake cylinder and clutch cylinder during the events. Peter Horsburgh / Graham Carter who a fantastic result on both events coming first Mini home in the Mini Sport Mini Challenge.
The Harrsion Duo used their recently overhauled Lanica Fuliva to good use setting stage times to be proud of, finally taking the category win.
Minis – Clive King / Anton Bird’s event came to early end with gearbox problems. Clive then staying late helping Shane to get his car ready for the Friday. Adrian Kermode kindly sorting garage out for Clive, who was able to fix the gear box and have a run through Castle town stage on the Friday night for the start of the second event only to then put the car off the road, damaging the Oil cooler, he managed to limp the car home to achieve the finish and take the mini Challenge win and Cat 2 win in the championship.
The Vauxhall of Stuart and Jack Anderson was performing well all weekend with them putting in some very respectable stages times. Stuart did have one moment when the car would not start in service but this was found to be an issue with the service crew and not the car. A couple of close encounters with some bales did not slow the precision driving of Stuart and the Anderson crew finally took the Category win and championship!
The Ferrari of Kevin and Lee Jones had hopefully put its bad behavior behind it but this wasn’t to be with the Ferrari mis-behaving from the start line of the first stage. This was due to the plug leads falling off due to the pressure building behind them.
Once this issue had been cured the next issue of the clutch failing ensured they could not push hard and catch the Andersons on the first day. The second day and final issue was the chain on the dry sump pump failing and causing the engine give up. It just wasn’t their weekend. The Jones will be back next year!!
Open Class – Rhodri Owen Roberts / Alun Hayward event came to an end on stage 9 with the car being taken home on a trailer.
All four Japanese Mini completed the events which is a first for the Japanese crews.
They were welcomed with open arms by the fellow HRCR and Mini Sport Mini challenge crews, and were like a slick machine when it comes to changing brake pads and general checking of the minis as they came into service. In all twenty-two Japanese family members attended the event.
Mellings / Carmel Venables had a good run with the car not faltering all event. Brain and Jodie Watson also finished the event without incident.
At the end of the event only one mini of Rhodri Owen Roberts never made it across the finishing line out of all the HRCR Mini Sport crews which is shear testament to the helpfulness and comradery of the Mini Teams.
71st overall Peter Horsburgh / Graham Carter – First mini home and Cat 1 winner
74th overall Peter Ellerby / Paul Price
86th overall Shinobu Kitani / Hiroko Kitani
90th overall Yoshinao Tsuchiya . Ritsuro Okano
94th overall Adrian Kermode / Maurice Beckett
101st overall Osamu Sumida / Asako Sumida
104th overall Koji Yabe / Yasuhiro Maeda
105th overall Brian and Jodie Watson
107th overall Martin Melling / Cameral Venables
108th overall Shane Gamble / Bob Ward
110th overall Clive King / Anton Bird
Next year event calendar will be released shortly.
PRESS RELEASE 2016/007
Sent on Behalf of HRCR
Start Line Media