This weekend sees The St Wilfrid’s Classic Historic Rally, round 9 of the 2017 HRCR Hagerty Insurance Clubmans Road Rally Championship starting in Ripon Market Square. This is the last round to be held in Yorkshire before the crews head further south to North Wales, Oxfordshire, Devon and finally to Cumbria. This year is just streaking through like lightning and already I’m being asked for dates for 2018.
I’ve listed the event winners below just as reminder of how many different crews have won and maybe Simon and Ryan will manage to pull off the second win in the rapid Toyota MR2. I guess they will be extra vigilant and keep their eyes peeled for any code boards, sorry guys!
2017 event winners so far
|1||Tour of Cheshire||Howard Warren & Iain Tullie||Porsche 911|
|2||North Yorkshire Classic||Darell Staniforth & Les McGuffog||Mini Cooper S|
|3||Ilkley Jubilee||Matt Warren & Andy Pullan||Ford Escort|
|4||Leukaemia||Howard Warren & Iain Tullie||Porsche 911|
|5||The Hughes||Simon Mellings & Ryan Pickering||Toyota MR2|
|6||East Anglian Classic||Dave Leadbetter & Cath Woodman||BMW 2002|
|7||White Rose Classic||Paul Crosby & Ryan Pickering||Porsche 911|
|8||The Ross Traders||Matt Warren & Andy Pullan||Ford Escort|
|9||St Wilfrid’s Classic||?||?|
Joking aside, as always any of the top ten could secure a victory with lady luck on their side as every round has been very close making it more and more difficult for organisers to create events that both challenge the Masters without forgetting the Novices are there to have a full day’s entertainment too.
Matt Warren and Andy Pullan are back in their traditional # 1 seeding but that does not detract from the abilities of the other competitors as the job of seeding the entry is not easy and much juggling goes on behind the scenes trying to ensure everyone is satisfied.
The championship is reaching a crucial point now as with only eight scores counting the lowest must be dropped which will help some folks and hinder others. It’s especially close for the navigators as James Howell and Richard Dix are level pegging at the top. While for the drivers James Griffiths currently has a 29 to drop while second placed, John Abel, has a non-finish on the Ilkley so only has a 2 to drop. It’s all far too complicated to predict the permutations at this stage.
Les Andrew in an MGB GT is leading the Amazon Cars Challenge Cup with consistent scores on each round entered and has a comfortable lead of 46 points from Andy Simpson in his 1275GT Mini. Peter Engel has won a couple of the awards so will not be eligible this time, so maybe Les can pick up the Amazon Cars Challenge Cup?
Cath Woodman has “volunteered” to run the Q and A session after the event to give guidance to those having made errors during the day while Martin Phaff will be gathering stories for the Old Stager article so please make sure you let him know of any of your interesting exploits.
Let’s keep our fingers crossed for another sunny day in Yorkshire, and here are the top ten seeds
1, Matt Warren & Andy Pullan, M2, Ford Escort
2, Simon Mellings & Ryan Pickering, M4, Toyota MR2
3, Howard Warren & Iain Tullie, M2, Porsche 911
4, John Abel & Martyn Taylor, M2, Ford Escort RS2000
5, James Griffiths & James Howell, M2, Mini 1275GT
6, John Ruddock & Roger Burkill, M2, Ford Escort Mexico
7, John Haygarth & Bob Hargreaves, M2, Opel Kadet Rallye
8, Dave Leadbetter & Cath Woodman, M2, BMW 2002
9, Keith Davis & Henry Carr, M3, MGB GT
10, Martin Neal & Richard Dix, M2, Ford Escort Mexico
Finally, here is a selection of photographs by Tony North from last year’s event.