A top five finish and two awards was the reward for Steve Entwistle when he contested last weekend’s Vale of Clywd Classic.
The Rishton rallyman finished fifth overall, won the M1 Masters class, and collected the prestigious Pierce rosebowl, awarded each year to the highest placed Mini.
Entwistle, winner of the 2015 HRCR Clubmans Championship, and navigator Ali Proctor, from Newcastle-upon-Tyne, were using the event as a shakedown for November’s RAC Rally of Tests, driving Paddy Hopkirk’s famous 6 EMO Mini.
Despite describing himself as ‘a bit rusty behind the wheel’ Entwistle was quick off the blocks, setting joint fastest time on the opening test at Loggerheads Country Park.
That was followed by an outright fastest time on test two, a 47-second thrash around a business park near Ruthin.
An excellent performance on the morning’s regularities left the pair in ninth place by mid-morning, climbing to seventh at the lunch halt, held at Ruthin Auction Mart, before finally finishing an excellent fifth overall.
The only disappointment of the day was missing out on fourth place within sight of the finish at the Druid Inn at Llanferres.
One mile from the last control, the pair overshot a slot left, but lost traction when they tried to turn around on wet grass, losing them 30 seconds in the process, which was enough to drop them to fifth.
But Entwistle, who finished fifth on the 2015 Vale of Clywd in his ex-Roy Mapple Orangebox Mini, was satisfied with his performance – and that of 6 EMO.
“I haven’t driven competitively since last year’s Rally of the Tests, so I’m happy we achieved what we did,” he said.
“Paddy’s car attracted a lot of attention throughout the day and performed faultlessly. The event was a typical Guy Woodcock rally, with an intricate route designed to test both driver and navigator. With 12 tests and seven regularities packed into nine hours, it was a full-on HRCR event.
“I’d like to thank Paddy for allowing me to drive such a great car, Chris Harper and Mini Sport of Padiham, who are tasked with looking after 6 EMO for him and to Ali for his confidence-inspiring performance in the left-hand seat.”
Blog courtesy of Neil Johnson.
Check out Team Mini Sport on Facebook to stay up to date with Steve Entwistle and Ali Proctor as they compete in the 2017 RAC Rally of the Tests.