This year’s Vale of Clwyd Classic is the seventh round of the HRCR Hagerty Insurance Clubmans Road Rally Championship with new Clerk of the Course, Andy Darlington, leading the team at Clwyd Vale Motor Club. Andy has been a regular championship competitor with Peter Williams in their Volvo Amazon in the past, so it will be interesting to discover what sort of event he has in store for everyone.
Making a welcome first appearance this year is Matt Warren, no doubt hoping to pull off a fourth consecutive win with Andy Pullan. I wonder if they can do it as there is tough competition from three of the other four previous winning crews in the entry as well as the current championship leaders Ian Crammond and Matthew Vokes whose Mercedes Benz 280SL has had a cylinder head re-build after going sick on the St Wilfrids. Another top crew fresh from a their second win of the season on the St. Wilfrids are Darell and Nicky Staniforth in their Mini Cooper S who also will be striving to gain progress on the championship leader board.
Other championship crews with winning potential outside the top ten include Thomas and Roger Bricknell, VW Golf GTi, John Ruddock and Niall Frost, Escort Mexico, John Haygarth and Bob Hargreaves, Opel Kadette
James Griffiths and James Howell are making the trek over from Essex having not seen them for a couple of events while Rob Henchoz is also making the trip with daughter Amy on the maps.
Martin Phaff is out with Alan Beardshaw in his Aston Martin DB5 which I’m sure will be a handful around the nadgery lanes of map 116.
Clive and Anji Martin, Escort mk1, are heading up the Experts class in the event, but are the leading Novice crew in the championship, which shows what a good year they have been having, but they will be under pressure from Ken and Sarah Binstead, MGB, who are showing remarkable improvement as the year unfolds.
Clare Grove and Suzanne Barker have teamed up and I’d love to be a “fly on the wall” in their car during the day!
I could ramble on about most championship crews, but I think I’d better stop here before I get into trouble! The top ten seeds are shown below as well as a selection of photographs from last year’s event with grateful thanks once again to Tony North.
1, Matt Warren and Andy Pullan, M2, Ford Escort mk1
2, Darell Staniforth and Nicky Staniforth, M1, Morris Mini Cooper S
3, Dermot Carnegie and Paul Bosdet, M2, Ford Escort RS2000
4, John Abel and Iain Tullie, M2, Ford Escort
5, Ian Crammond and Matthew Vokes, M1, Mercedes Benz 280 SL
6, Andy Lane and Richard Crozier, M1, Volvo 123GT
7, Steve Entwistle and Ali Procter, M1, Morris Cooper S
8, Noel Kelly and Pete Johnson, M1, MGB Roadster
9, Roger Powley and Leigh Powley, M1, Porsche 911
10, Simon Mellings and Henry Carr, M4, Nissan Stanza.
See you in sunny, I hope, North Wales