Howard Warren and Iain Tullie, Porsche 911, will lead the field of 58 historic and 10 Targa competitors away from the Chepstow racecourse start on Saturday 13th May for the 25th running of the Leukaemia Historic Rally this year re-branded as the Silver Jubilee Leukaemia Historic Rally.
It is the 4th round of the 2017 HRCR Hagerty Insurance Clubmans Road Rally Championship and is sure to be a hotly contested event with the non-championship pairing of Gavin and Carrie Roger, Scimitar GTE, at Car 2 and the re-vitalised and on form pairing of Ian Crammond and Matthew Vokes, Mercedes Benz 280SL at #3.
Always one of the favourite events of the year for the championship contenders with its excellent tests and the demanding roads of south Wales, but the non-championship crews make sure there is strong competition for overall and class honours. Last year the navigation was particularly demanding for the Novice crews, but this year it’s much simpler and nothing to be concerned about, but if you do get stuck then please ask Kevin Chaffey or one of the organisers and of course I will be there as usual, so do please ask and don’t struggle. Darell Staniforth and Les McGuffog, Mini Cooper, will be looking for another good result having won the North Yorkshire Classic and Les has agreed to host the QandA session after the event while waiting for the results.
The top of the championship remains close with Martin Neal/Richard Dix, Escort Mexico, just 4 points clear of James Griffiths/James Howell, Mini 1275GT, but with Martin not entered and Richard navigating for Stephen Johnson in his RS 2000 there is an opportunity for the Mini crew to take the lead, we will have to wait and see what transpires.
In the Experts class Ken Jones, MGBGT, heads up the drivers while Ian Canavan is on top for the navigators.
While Les Andrew/Nick Middleton head up the Novice class in their MGBGT and look to be having it all their own way at the moment, although new entrants to the championship Matt Stephens/Toby Duffield, Saab 96V4, are currently second only 10 points ahead of Andy and Ros Simpson, Mini 1275. Hopefully, Andy will have burnt the midnight oil to rebuild his engine after losing the oil pressure when the breather gauze disintegrated and ruined the oil pump on the way home from the Ilkley.
The latest championship points table may be found in the Clubmans section of the HRCR website.
Stephen Owens, Porsche 911, is leading the Amazon Cars Challenge Cup by seven points from Les Andrew.
With Ryan Pickering away on his honeymoon, Simon Mellings has Karl Ellis guiding him on the maps and is trying yet another Category 4 car in the form of a Toyota MR2. Knowing a little of Toyota’s engineering reputation this has the potential to be a competitive vehicle, certainly reliable and durable if the performance can be found! Again something very interesting to watch how it develops.
There are certainly many new pairings to be seen throughout the field so it will definitely be a fascinating event.
The top ten are,
1, Howard Warren & Iain Tullie, M1, Porsche 911
2, Gavin Rogers & Carrie Rogers, M2, Reliant Scimitar
3, Ian Crammond & Matthew Vokes, M2, Mercedes Benz 280SL
4, Darell Staniforth & Les McGuffog, M1, Morris Mini Cooper
5, Worth Birkill & Dave Harris, M1, Morris Mini
6, Peter Joy & Matt Fowle, M1, Lotus Elite
7, Jim Deacon & David Taylor, M1, Alfa Romeo Giulia Sprint Coupe
8, John Abel & Niall Frost, M2, Ford Escort RS2000
9, Simon Mellings & Karl Ellis, M4, Toyota MR2
10, Alan Wakeman & Tony Brooks, Targa, Rover 214S1
Here are some photographs taken by A & A Photography from last year to remind you of what went on.
Let’s hope the sun shines for us all.