Measham 2019

_OUL5184 copy_RThe Measham Rally – first organised in the early sixties – is once again based in Leicestershire with Jenny Lees at the helm and me doing the route, timing and instructions.  This is the last of our three year year ‘sentence’, so we aim to make it the best yet.  Straightforward, no nonsense navigation and sensible timing makes for an interesting event.  This year, as well as allowing Vintage cars and PVTs (Post Vintage Thoroughbreds), there will be a category for cars built before 1962.  And, in another new twist, there will be a new rally within a rally called the Measham ‘Lite’, where competitors can elect to compete in just the first half, an 80 mile section for separate trophies , rather tackling the entire 150 mile rally.  Timing will be regularity to the minute.  To overcome the problem for non VSCC members to get details of the event, the regulations and entry form will be available on this website soon.

 

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Monte matters

wc2262_bluepassion-1024x682I was asked to do the Winter Challenge to Monte Carlo with Michael Moss in his big Fiat 2300.  His regular man was on another event and I relished the opportunity to do the iconic event, from Le Touquet to Monte over five days.  Lots of snow and cold conditions in the Jura and Vercors regions made for an interesting event, but the Alps were not too challenging, the bad weather and heavy snow coming in after we had finished the event.  Up to fifth in the results at one section, we eventually finished 11th overall (the car takes a lot of driving on the twisty roads), but importantly, we were part of the winning team and also took second in class trophies too.

Michaels blog is here:

https://montecarlothehardway.wordpress.com/

 

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WVW 2018

Details are now published for the Welland Valley Wander in 2018, which takes place this year on Sunday 19 August. Full details are available on the dedicated website, www.Welland Valley Wander.co.uk. Click here to go to the site
WVW18

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Early bath

On the 1000 mile Trial, I recorded a dnf for the first time in – what I reckon is – 55 events.  On its first competitive outing, Dilwyn Rees’s 1930 Aston Martin International SWB model suffered with a number of mechanical problems and we were forced to give best on the second day.

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WVW #5

The fifth Welland Valley Wander takes place on Sunday 13 August, and this year, we have a record bumper entry of 85 participants.  Add to this the travelling marshals and officials and we have close to 100 cars on the route across Leicestershire, Rutland and Northamptonshire, finishing in Lincolnshire on the banks of the Welland at Stamford.  Full details of the event are at Welland Valley Wander

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New items added

After a long period of inactivity, due to a web problem, we’re back up and running with an update on the motoring year.

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Max Waltzing

Recently spent an enjoyable four days in the company of Max Stephenson, a true Aussie from Queensland in his 1923 Vauxhall OD type 23-60 on the Flying Scotsman Vintage Car Rally.  We travelled from Forest of Arden in Warwickshire to the wonderful Gleneagles Hotel, mostly on byways along the spine of the country, high up in the Pennines.  The event comprised regularities and tests on private ground.  I’m very pleased to say that on the former we were at the top of the table, recording some of the best times overall throughout the event and just missing out on the best score.  The tests were our downfall as the big, big machine’s performances were taken on a scratch timing basis and we couldn’t hold a candle to the lighter and more agile Bentleys.  The 23-60 is a fit-for-purpose vintageant, built by Max for long distance enduro events and has already competed on Peking Paris, London to Cape Town and a pan South America event.  It is a large, tough but quick car and got us round the event albeit with one puncture and a loss of third gear (which, in reality, didn’t affect us too much).  We came home with a top fifteen finish, a third-in-class trophy and most importantly, the best Vauxhall performer.

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A year summed up

My motoring endeavours are covered on the’My Motoring Year’ page.  Click the header tab to see what I was up to in 2013 (and 2012 is still there too!).

 

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I love to go a-wandering

We’re busy organising the Welland Valley Wander, a scenic tour for classic cars.  The 100 mile route will follow the course of the River Welland across Northamptonshire, High Leicestershire and Rutland and entries are coming in nicely.   Taking place on Sunday 18 August, full details are here:

www.wellandvalleywander.co.uk

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Snow? What snow?…….

Leading up to the North Yorkshire Classic Rally – held in the area close to Easingwold and Helmsley last weekend – we kept getting emails from the organisers telling us that they hadn’t got any snow and that the event was definitely on.  Frankly, we didn’t believe them.  With most parts of the UK crippled with blizzards and snow drifts, and knowing that High Yorkshire always gets snow, we packed chains, shovel (and driver John even packed sleeping bags) for the event.  We needn’t have bothered.  There was no snow.  None at all for the main part.  A dusting in some fields, but even on the high ground around Boltby there was hardly any.

Simon Parson’s event featured a compact route with a mixture of tests and regularities, some of which were plot and bash.  These are where you have purely the start and the finish of the section plotted on the map beforehand and as the clock hand ticks over to your allotted minute, a written instruction is thrust through the window.  With the clock running, these sections instill a heightened form of panic, particularly if you can’t work the blessed instruction onto the map.

I was lucky to be able to sort these out for the main part, although one minimalist one (just one spotheight to pass through) left me head scratching.  Only later did another navigator tell me there was no alternative to go any other way than the one I chose as all other roads were eventually dead ends.  I hadn’t realised as I had folded my map obscuring the ‘longer’ views.  Oops!

The last regularity played a crucial factor on the event.  Up to that point we were recording good regularity times (in the top 5 or so) but our test times were poor on tight courses in such a large unwieldy car as the Citroen.  We were about 12th overall at this point.  The last instruction to come through the window told us to pass entrances to farms and buildings.  They took a bit of finding as they were spread quite a way apart (thanks John, for spotting one!) and we sped off trying to gain back time lost whilst stationery and trying to make the section work.   I wasn’t sure whether I was being too clever by noticing that one of the locations had a very small driveway off a sideroad.  We took this option and hey presto, there was a timing point.  We continued on and finished the event with a great big zero for a spot on time on the very last timing point.

The crucial handout with my calculations too.

The arrow points to the Old Rectory. The entrance to the location was on the road going NW and the crucial timing point was on the yellow road north of the village, just before reaching the brown road.

On arrival at the finish at rally HQ, the place was buzzing with talk of who had actually found the tricky timing point.  It turned out that we were one of only 12 crews to find it.  This promoted us up the leaderboard and we finished 6th overall, 1st in class and second best regularity times overall.  With a faster car on the tests, we would probably have finished in runner-up spot.  So a good event for us.  I think I finally have the hang of this regularity timing lark too!


In Duncombe Park Woods. Photo by Matt White


A muddy Sofa. Photo by Matt White.

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