This Saturday, 20th October 2018, sees the third running of the Devils Own Rally organised by Martyn Taylor and the team from Kirkby Lonsdale Motor Club, and it is the final round of the 2018 HRCR Hagerty Insurance Clubmans Road Rally Championship incorporating the HRCR Amazon Cars Challenge Cup. The winner for the two previous years, Guy Woodcock, has Ali Procter on the maps and clocks this year, so if he does manage to pull off the hat-trick it will have been with three different navigators and two different cars! They will head the field away from the Westmorland County Showground start at 12.31pm on Saturday afternoon followed by current championship leaders Ian Crammond and Matthew Vokes. Ian has fitted some halogen spot-lights to his 280SL in the hope he will be able to see better in the dark and this small modification has moved him into Category 2 for this final round. Matt Warren, in his mk1 Escort, has entered for only the second time this year with usual navigator, Andy Pullan, who is just one point behind Nicky Staniforth in the navigator’s championship. Nicky will be out with Dad, Darell, in his Cooper S and no doubt will be striving hard to stay in front of Andy. Thomas and Roger Bricknell will be hoping for an uneventful run after having a foray into the moorland last year. It’s good to see Iain Tullie out with regular championship runner Howard Warren in his Porsche 911. Perhaps they will be able to put the cat amongst the pigeons on this one as it’s on Iain’s local patch, although I’m not sure he has much time to explore it between World Rally Championship activities.
In the Experts class Andrew Johnson and Les Andrews will be battling it out for championship Expert driver’s class honours, while next year’s Clubmans Championship Secretary, Martin Phaff, will be chasing Dave Boyes for the navigators class win as current joint class leader Suzanne Barker has not entered. Although having just finished 2nd overall with Geoff Dean on last weekend’s Mull Targa Rally having tied on times with Andrew and Dave I guess she is quitting while ahead. Perhaps we’ll see them this weekend marshalling?
Clive and Anji Martin are leading the championship Novice class at the moment, but they have not entered this weekend due to Clive’s work commitments, so that will leave the door open for Ken and Sarah Binstead who need to gain 36 points in order to take the class win, no pressure then guys and good luck.
This year has seen the introduction of a new award the HRCR Gibson Purdy Trophy for the crew using a mechanical Halda or Curta device. If Cath Woodman has a good run with Simon Mellings then she may just claim it away from Brian and Janette Dwelly who have an eight point advantage but are one of the regular crews not making the journey to the Lake District. I suspect the prospect of the narrow bumpy roads in the dark may have put them off?
I see Stuart and Emily Anderson have persuaded fellow Bentley Derby enthusiasts Elliot Dale and Charlotte Ryall to make the journey north to sample the narrow bumpy lanes to be found in the Lake District. I hope they enjoy the experience as much as Stuart and Emily always appear to.
So it looks like being the sting in the tail for the championship. I know Martyn and night section guru Dan Willan have created a demanding event for everyone and it certainly has the makings of being a cracking days sport for all. Gill and I will be there as usual and hopefully will have a full afternoon and evening marshalling.
Tony North has supplied his usual selection of excellent photographs from last year’s event to go along with this ramble.
So the top ten are
1, Guy Woodcock and Ali Procter, M3, Ford Escort mk2
2, Ian Crammond and Matthew Vokes, M2, Mercedes Benz 280SL
3, Matt Warren and Andy Pullan, M2 Ford Escort mk1
4, Darell and Nicky Staniforth, M1, Morris Mini Cooper S
5, Howard Warren and Iain Tullie, M1, Porsche 911
6, Paul Wignall and Mark Appleton, M1, Alfa Romeo Giulietta Sprint
7, Geoff Hall and Paul Bosdet, M1, Austin Mini Cooper S
8, Thomas and Roger Bricknell, M4, VW Golf GTi
9, Pete Tyson and Neil Harrison, M2, Mini Cooper S
10, John Haygarth and Bob Hargreaves, M2, Opel Kadett Rallye
See you there.