2018 HRCR Hagerty Insurance Clubmans Road Rally Championship off to a flying start with the North Yorkshire Classic rally organised by the very able team at the York Motor Club. On only her eighth HRCR Clubmans event Nicky Staniforth navigated dad, Darell, to his second consecutive win on the event and they led from start to finish to boot.
It was not an event without a little controversy as some of the speed changes were scheduled for the same location as some passage checks and quite a few crews managed to miss them so gaining a double penalty of missed PC board and of course the additional time penalty at the next control. Nevertheless, the general consensus from most competitors was that it was a great event and very enjoyable…………..eventually.
This year the route did a clockwise circuit of York starting and finishing at the excellent Hawkhills facility near Easingwold.
It was great to see John Abel out in his fabulous Sunbeam Tiger, while his RS2000 is being re-shelled, and I for one hope it takes a long time, as the sound of it’s V8 just makes the hairs on the back of your neck stand on end it’s just great, but obviously a bit of a handful to cope with when used in anger.
Activities started with three tests on Tholthorpe airfield and then one in Cold Harbour Farm before the first Regularity took crews around Husthwaite to Newborough Priory and along the resurfaced road to the NAM junction at the crossroads near Grimston Grange before heading down through Skewsby to finish at Sheriff Hutton for coffee. There were 3 PCs on this first section and first to fall foul were Phil Wood/Iain Miller followed by Simon Malins/Nick Pullan who both missed the first of these. Dave Leadbetter/Cath Woodman fell foul of the second one and then collected a maximum on Test 5 at East Moor which promptly upset their day. Another of the top crews to miss a PC were Nick Bloxham/Richard Crozier, but they retired later with a noisy exhaust on Test 10. Doing really well at this stage were Clive and Anji Martin in their Escort worrying the top five during the morning.
Three tests, 5, 6 & 7 at East Moor, followed coffee then a short Regularity to Flaxton where another of the pesky PCs caught out Thomas and Roger Bricknell spoiling another good run and a possible 2nd overall. John Haygarth/Bob Hargreaves were quickest on Test 5 taking 3 seconds from Paul Crosby/Andy Pullan, while Test 6 saw the demise of Ian Crammond/Matthew Vokes when the ignition system cried enough, but where Darell and Nicky were fastest beating Clive and Anji by 1 second. Reg 3 then took crews onto map 105 for lunch at York Auction Mart, which was preceded by Test 8 where once again Haygarth/Hargreaves was quickest.
The afternoon started with a repeat of Test 8 in the grounds followed by Reg 4 which contained another of those PCs. This one caught out Richard Isherwood/Ian Canavan, Stephen Johnson/David Taylor and Peter Welch and Andy Marchbank. No doubt they were pleased to get to Acaster Malbis airfield for the final three tests of the day, 10, 11 & 12. There was a three way tie for fastest between the Staniforths, Crosby/Pullan and Jon Dunning/Henry Carr, with several crews picking up a cone penalty. Crosby/Pullan took Test 11 while Test 12 went to Clive and Anji Martin.
Now all the test fun was over it was the usual “Sting in the Tail” with Regularity 5 and 6. The latter being partly plot ‘n bash. Reg 5 used the triangle at sh 26 just west of Askham Richard which caught out a few of the Novices, but the real problem for them was the navigation for Reg 6 which was split into four sections, the first “overs” and “unders” and the second a herringbone both of which caused some consternation with crews, even a Master who shall remain nameless!
The county boundary running along the stream in GS5656 created stress for many crews as did the herringbone that defined the white lay-by in GS 5461, and two of the Novice crews ran out of time and were OTL for the start of the regularity. The last handout appeared straight forward but two Masters, three Experts and three Novices missed an early loop and gained five minute penalties for missed PCs. To give you an idea of how demanding the event was The Staniforth’s penalties were 16:22 for the tests and 1:19 for the Regs while the last classified finishers Steve Spiers/Mark Crump, and this was Marks first rally, posted test times of 27:14 and Reg penalties of 83:44.
The top ten were,
1, Darell Staniforth & Nicky Staniforth, M1, Mini Cooper S, 17:41
2, Paul Crosby & Andy Pullan, M2, Porsche 911, 18:01
3, John Abel & Niall Frost, M1, Sunbeam Tiger, 18:39
4, Howard Warren & Iain Tullie, M1, Porsche 911, 18:43
5, Jon Dunning & Henry Carr, M2, Alfa Romeo Giulia GTV, 18:47
6, John Haygarth & Bob Hargreaves, M2, Opel Kadett Rallye, 20:12
7, Duncan Wild & Steve Skepper, M2, Austin Mini Cooper, 21:17
8, Paul Davis & Richard Dix, M2, Ford Escort mk1 RS2000, 21:43
9, Les Andrew & Nick Middleton, E3, MGB GT, 22:14
10, Mark Goodwin & Anthony Davies, E3, Triumph Dolomite Sprint, 22:40
Amazon Cars Challenge Cup winner was Les Andrew continuing his winning ways from 2017.
Below are a selection of photographs from Tony North.
See you on the Ilkley Jubilee.