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Look out Matt Warren’s coming up on the rails!

The HERO Challenge, round 11 of the 2017 HRCR Hagerty Insurance Clubmans Road Rally Championship, will be based near Bicester this year utilising the Bicester Heritage Centre for a number of tests. The second event organised this year under the experienced eye of Guy Woodcock, this time with the backing of the HERO team, it is sure to live up to its title.

The drivers standing in the championship could not be much closer with John Abel seven points clear of Howard Warren then James Griffiths another twelve behind followed by Keith Davis a further fourteen down, but keep an eye on Matt Warren as a couple of wins could put him in top spot at the end of the year. It’s much tighter for the navigators with James Howell and Ryan Pickering tied on 387. Richard Dix is only three points behind, but he will not be contesting any more rounds this year and is resigned to slide gracefully down the leader board. Third is Henry Carr just eleven points behind, so it looks like it will go down to the last event to decide who will gain top honours.

It’s good to see Seren and Elise Whyte back following their summer season and no doubt they will be looking to consolidate their positions in the championship. With neither Gareth Hockridge nor John Griffiths entered it could allow Seren to re-gain the lead in E1 to match Elise’s position in the navigators table.

The new crew for this year of Phil Wood and Iain Miller are certainly out to give current N1 leaders Peter Williams and Andy Darlington a run for their money. It’s certainly going to be an entertaining battle between the Volvo crews

Martyn Taylor will be hosting the navigation QandA session after the rally and Anji Martin has “volunteered” to write the Old Stager article so be sure to let her know about your exploits during the day.

With thanks to Tony Large for the photographs from last year’s event.

The top ten seeds are


1, Matt Warren (GBR) / Andrew Pullan (GBR) Ford Escort

2, John Abel (GBR) / Martyn Taylor (GBR) Ford Escort

3, Howard Warren (Eng) / Iain Tullie (GBR) Porsche 911 Coupe

4, Paul Crosby (GBR) / Ali Procter (GBR) Porsche 911

5, Simon Mellings (Eng) / Ryan Pickering (GBR) Toyota MR2

6, John Dignan (Eng) / Peter Dignan (Eng) MG B Roadster

7, James Griffiths (Eng) / James Howell (Eng) Austin Mini 1275GT

8, Richard Isherwood (Eng) / Ian Canavan (Sco) Nissan Stanza Jubilee

9, Andrew Buzzard (Eng) / Robb Lyne (Eng) Alfa Romeo Giulia Sprint GTV

10, Keith Davis (Eng) / Henry Carr (Eng) MG B GT

Let’s hope the sun will shine in the Bicester area at the weekend.