59 competitors started this years tour around North Yorkshire, the 2nd round of the HRCR clubman’s championship.
The event was based at the Hawkhills in Easingwold, The charming Georgian and Victorian building is set within a 240-acre countryside estate and a fitting venue for a classic rally!
Fresh from winning The Tour of Cheshire Dan Willan is back with a new navigator this time of Mark Appleton.
Dan & Mark led the field away at 08.30 for a short run north to the first Reg of the day, the route instruction was handed to the crews on their due minute, consisting of a spot height to avoid & 5 pylon lines to cross, a nice little wake up call for the navigators & a number of crews at the tail end of the field missed an IRTC en route to the first test.
The test was at South Eastmoor where it was a pretty straightforward slalom type test but with 3 code boards to collect during the test, the 2 John’s, Haygarth & Youd in the Opel Kadett victorious & 5 seconds quicker than the 2 James’, Griffiths & Howell! In their lovely 1275GT mini.
Reg 2 took the crews south west through Sutton on the Forest & Huby finishing just west of Shipton, the majority of crews dropping just a few seconds between the 4 controls.
Reg 3 started West of York at Rufforth & finished in Appleton Roebuck via Askham Richard & Colton. A number of crews took their joker on this Reg & 8 missed a code board on a deceptive track before IRTC3.3.
Tests 2-5 quickly followed at Acaster Selby, 2 very slippy tests run twice with 4 different winners here, Haygarth/Youd, the Stone’s, Doble/Mann & Powley/Bosdet.
Not surprisingly on the second pass the times were quicker for the majority of the crews.
Onto tests 6-8 at the Yorkshire Museum of Farming at Murton, the first 2 tests here were run twice & was a long slippy slalom course around lots of tyres & auction paraphernalia seeing the Opel Kadett once again taking the quickest times! Speaking to the crew at the finish their rear brakes were causing issues all day, who needs brakes on tests anyway!
Test 8 was very tricky with a figure of 8 for good measure & 8 crews taking a test maximum! Unlucky number 8!
A quick coffee halt here then the crews started Reg 4 from the carpark which was a plot & bash of map features that took the crews into Stamford Bridge, not the football stadium but a quaint little village east of York, a short road section followed to start Reg 5 that took the crews north to Whitwell on the Hill where they finished the Reg just before the level crossing, the crews then had a short run down the A64 to start Reg 6 where they received another route instruction on their due minute, a straightforward plot took the crews into lunch at the Yorkshire Lavender.
A number of the crews chose to plot Reg 7 during lunch, a number of navigators pulling their hair out as one of the map features on the handout didn’t match some of their maps! Luckily the route plotted correctly with this feature omitted, this Reg took the crews on a big loop around Whenby & Snaregate finishing in Hovingham.
Reg 8 was a Yorkshirelarity, a few crews had not experienced one of these before & lots of crews either missing the code board, missing controls or using their joker.
The final tests were in Spaunton Quarry, clearly a popular venue for motorsport as there was evidence of a recent car trial on the grass bank at the start of test 9.
2 crews took the bogey time on test 10 with a mix of winners here, again the Opel Kadett taking test 9 honours with the Volvo of Willan/Appleton & the Toyota of Powley/Bosdet joint winners on test 10, the Opel Kadett & Staniforth’s Mini took joint quickest time on test 11, the Stones’ Escort & the Volvo PV544 took joint honours on test 12 & finally once again the Volvo PV544 of Dan Willan & Mark Appleton were 2 seconds clear on the final test of the rally, The Yard.
The final 2 regs took the crews west to Kirbymoorside where Reg 9 was the ‘calm before the storm’, a simple plot took the crews north of Beadlam to then start another plot & bash on Reg 10, 2 handouts during the route took the crews past the incredible Byland Abbey ruin & into Yearsley Moor, a mixture of map features, grid line crossings, spot heights & pylon line crossings caused some back markers a little head scratching, again quite a number of crews taking their joker here.
The crews finished the rally in the market place at Easingwold, there was a great turnout of locals to view the cars as they arrived in the square.
Well done to Dan & Mark on the overall win with Paul Bloxidge & Oli Waldock taking the overall Novice award.