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What is it with red cars, they just keep on winning!

Simon Mellings and Ryan Pickering in their red Toyota MR2 won the ninth round of the 2017 HRCR Hagerty Insurance Clubmans Road Rally Championship, the St Wilfrid’s Classic Rally.  Not only did a Category 4 car win the event, but second place was taken by Richard Isherwood and Ian Canavan in “Stan” the Nissan Stanza, while Matt Warren with Kevin Savage took third in the familiar Escort; Kevin standing in for Andy Pullan at the last moment.

Newcomer to the championship Thomas Bricknell, under the experienced guidance of Roger, had a second top seven placing making it three Cat 4 cars in the top ten. Already, there are murmurs of “will we be overrun with Cat 4 cars”; “do we need a second championship for them alone” so as usual there is plenty of gossip to keep everyone entertained during our summer recess until the Vale of Clwyd at the beginning of September. I’m not particularly worried though as crews are more important than cars in my opinion.

The event was not without its dramas with cars getting stuck on tests and subsequently being cancelled and Regularities also being scrubbed for various organisational reasons and Yorkshire folks did not endear themselves to Gill and I either as we picked up a parking ticket in Ripon Market Square as an added bonus!

The Hagerty Spirit of the Rally tankards were awarded to John Haygarth and Bob Hargreaves; after retiring with an oil leak and then helping out by marshalling a couple of Timing Points in the afternoon. Les Andrew and Nick Middleton were pleased to finally get their hands on a pair of Amazon Cars Challenge Cups even though he has been leading for several events now.

With John Abel and Martyn Taylor, 8th, beating James Griffiths and James Howell, 16th,  and both having to drop their worst event score means a change at the top of the championship with the leading driver now being John Abel, while leading navigator is still James Howell with a one point advantage from Richard Dix. As this is Richard’s last event this year it will be interesting to see his final position in the championship.

The top ten were

1, Simon Mellings and Ryan Pickering, M4, Toyota MR 2, 18:44

2, Richard Isherwood and Ian Canavan, M4, Nissan Stanza, 20:40

3, Matt Warren and Kevin Savage, M2, Ford Escort, 21:00

4, Howard Warren and Iain Tullie, M2, Porsche 911, 21:29

5, Martin Neal and Richard Dix, M2, Ford Escort Mexico, 21:46

6, Keith Davis and Henry Carr, M3, MGB GT, 21:51

7, Thomas Bricknell and Roger Bricknell, E4, VW Golf GTi, 22:05

8, John Abel and Martyn Taylor, M2, Ford Escort RS 2000, 22:06

9, Russell Smith and Dan Harrison, M3, Triumph Dolomite Sprint, 22:07

10, Ken Jones and Charles Hughes, E2, MGB GT, 22:40

Here is a selection of Tony North’s excellent photographs to give you a flavour of the event.


Enjoy your August break and see you at the Vale of Clwyd.



PS updated championship points in the usual place on this website.