HRCR Clubmans Championship 2nd Round North Yorks Classic
Saturday 23 March saw the start of the North Yorks Classic which is the second round of the HRCR Clubmans Championship. Dry and sunny weather was the order of the day which was in sharp contrast to the previous week when over an inch of rain had fallen across the area in less than 24 hours. This was the 10th anniversary of the first event and, as usual, the smooth and efficient running of the rally was a testament to the unflappable (on the surface anyway) Roger Burkhill and his highly experienced team.
A different format was the order of the day this time around with the first car away at 1501 from the Hawkhills site with the prospect of night sections to come. Reverse seeding was also in play so the novices went first to ensure that the Masters and Experts were completely in the dark when night fell.
The first pre-plotted regularity was a straightforward affair to get everybody into the groove and there were some very low penalties being posted as a result. It was then onto Cold Harbour Farm where John Haygarth and Rob Hargreaves in the Opel Kadett Rallye made a statement of intent with the fastest time around the special test. Then onto the familiar Tholthorpe Airfield for tests 2-4 on the loose concrete and gravel.
Reg 2 followed with again some low penalty scores being achieved. Onwards to tests 5-7 at Eastmoor with more loose surface action but this time the Opel Kadett was beaten by a whisker on test 5 by the ebullient Harvey Steele and Martin Pitt in the Volvo 144. Appearances are definitely deceptive with that car!
Onwards to tea at the Stillington Sports club that saw some furious plotting by some of the navs and various conspiracy theories being put about by what was actually meant by an entrance to a farm. However Roger calmed everybody down and then it was out into the dark for Reg 3 for the crews to find the 9 IRTC’s dotted around North Yorkshire. All arrived back safely and it was Darell and Nicky Staniforth at the head of the leader board with a rather surprised author and his wife holding up the honour of the Novices in a creditable 8th place overall. However tomorrow would be another day.
Seedings on the Sunday were based on Saturday night placings so 0831 saw the Staniforths lead the way for a transit to Tholthorpe for the start of 4 special tests. Onto Reg 4 that was straight forward but then Reg 5 was a Yorkshirelarity handed out at RS5. This caused a bit of head scratching to start with as some were expecting a jogularity but that was not what it turned out to be and quite a few crews missed codeboards, picking up 300 points as a result.
Reg 6 and 7 followed a very short coffee stop and where the leading crews started to get a little too involved with the scones on offer thereby missing there due out time by a couple of minutes.
Back then to Eastmoor to finish off with two fast tests to complete the rally and a transit back to Hawkhills for some food and a wait for the results. Overall winners, managing to hang on to their overnight lead were Darell and Nicky Staniforth with an excellent total of 20.06, just 21 seconds ahead of John Haygarth and Rob Hargreaves . First Experts were Peter and Douglas Humphrey with 21.56 and first Novice Ken and Sarah Binstead on 32.13. Top ten positions are given below.
Another great rally from the York Motor Club team with an exciting new format that was generally well received and combined with the excellent facilities at Hawkhills made for an superb weekend of rallying.
1 Darell and Nicky Staniforth Morris Mini Cooper S 20.06
2 John Haygarth and Robert Hargreaves Opel Kadett Rallye 20.27
3 Howard Warren and Ian Tullie Porsche 911 21.09
4 Peter and Douglas Humphreys Austin Mini Cooper 21.56
5 Richard Isherwood and Ian Canavan VW Golf GTI Mk 1 22.05
6 Mark Turner and Matthew Vokes Talbot Sunbeam 22.23
7 Harvey Steele and Martin Pitt Volvo 144 23.29
8 Martyn Taylor and Amy Henchoz Vauxhall Astra 24.09
9 Les McGiffog and Nick Cooper VW Golf 24.55
10 Stephen Owens and Ian Mitchell Porsche 356B 25.28