It had been blowing a gale overnight – We woke up to sunshine but the roads flooded in places which were difficult to gauge. The first regularity looked on paper an easy one – but it proved extremely difficult! We – fortunately had the rub of the green! As we approached the Mini of Kevin Haseldine & Matt Fowle were heading towards us when they turned right – our left – fine but as we rounded the corner they had disappeared, we were faced with a set of closed quarry gates – hey, had we entered the twilight zone? Then as we rolled forward I spotted the white lines of a junction. “There, there,” I shouted and pointed to Ryan, he replied: “Got it.” A well placed confirmation arrow proved this, and we trundled into the control a second early, most of our rivals had lost a minute. We carried on to be met by one of our rivals who asked if we had a control – we did not mean it but replied quite smuggly ‘Yes, thank you’. We had a few speed changes with a cheeky one as we were traveling down a main road and looking for a slot right – we needed the next slot right, but it caused a few moments of panic until we arrived at the next control. Blimey this wasn’t going to be an easy last day with the next reg having an IRTC in a hidden roadside quarry, and two on private land in a forest – You had to be on the ball!
Next Back to Warcop for a couple of tests and then a longish transport section to the highest pub in Great Britain: http://www.tanhillinn.com/
Next was one of those moments of the rally as we approached the water splash well-know for being in the opening credits of the TV programme ‘All Creatures Great and Small’. The amount of photographers surrounding it was unreal that’s when Ryan decided to have some fun! And attacked the water with gusto causing an almighty spray – But the joke kinda backfired on us remember the hole caused by the broken speedo yet again we had ‘soggy bottoms’, and no change of trousers for the prize giving – I scowled at Ryan but a few expletives later I could not help but laugh!
Next came one of the highlights of the rally the final two regularities of the event held in the army ranges at Catterick all on gravel tracks the first a ‘jogularity’, lots of shouting as in 2 pages of A4 instructions the biggest distance was a quarter of a mile! It was a case of just trying to keep reading and getting Ryan to confirm he’d seen it or had passed it a few slight halts as we tried to decipher the instructions – Thanks again to Kevin Haseldine & Matt Fowle who were far enough in front to follow their tracks and with slots between trees and around Port-a-loos their help was needed!
Out of there and a few tests and then onto a marked map section – The first junction over a crest but the tracks pointed straight on a quick check with the marshal to confirm at least we could start in the right direction, lots did not! At an average of 29 mph it was going to be interesting our approach let’s have some fun and go for it.
Yes you could follow the tracks of some of the previous 75 cars, but when we approached one marshal point we had the words: “Be careful at junctions, people are going all over the place.” So we did approach some bits with caution but the gravel tracks were awesome, fats and flowing with a lovely ‘horseshoe’ shaped bend with an adverse camber and sharp dip which you could not see. The Triumph was flying over a jump we had one of those nose-dive moments but escaped unharmed, just some filler fell off. We caught Kevin Haseldine / Matt Fowle and at a 5-way junction they sympathetically pulled over – They must have been sick of the sight of us – But if you do read this, thank you for the spirit you showed, camaraderie and for making the weekend just like Will Rutherford-Child and dad Bob Rutherford, Howard Warren, Ali & Lynsey Proctor again the kept us going, just at the right time.
So next a series of tests which apart from Jacob’s Ladder – less said about that the better! But a chance to unleash the power of the TR4 to it’s max!
Harwood hillclimb was awesome – just about managed the split and get the right finish as we approached the last corner a little sideways! Then the trek to Haarogate and the finish line – I hate navigating through towns this one seemed especially busy. And I admit it took a few goes looking for signs and finding the right route nearly messed it up but we made it tired and relieved and not knowing what we had done or where we finished.
But, as we walked into the Hotel lots of people were shaking our hands and congratulating us we thought okay but for 5th?? It was then the rumour mill said we were 3rd!
3rd behind 7 Wignall / Appleton – Alfa Romeo Giulietta Sprint & 35 Ebus / Tullie – Porsche 356.
Not only that but an extra bonus at the prize giving we had also won the fastest on tests award…. the celebrations is the bar that night continued long into the wee small hours…
RS3/1 – South Lakeland 6th 23 secs
RS3/2 – Killington =3rd 12 secs
RS3/3 – Yorkshire Dales 23rd 6 secs
RS3/4 – Downholme 1st 1 min 28 secs
RS3/5 – Barden 4th 53 secs
TS3/2 – Marching Orders 1st
TS3/3 – Sergeants Mess 3rd TS3/4 – Round the Block 2nd TS3/5 – Privates Progress 2nd
TS3/6 – Carry on Camping 1st TS3/7 – Jacobs Ladder ;-( TS3/8 – A la Kart 1st
TS3/9 – Roundy Round 2nd TS3/10 – Down Dale and Up Hill 1st TS3/11 – Final Frontier =5th