The HRCR always promises fantastic performances from some of the countries most talented Historic Rally drivers and Mini Sport’s involvement with both the Old Stager and Clubman Rally always proves to be an exciting and valued experience, for both our team and our drivers. As another season of competitive rallying draws to a close, we can’t help but be excited by Steve Entwsitle’s exceptional achievements over the last six months of the HRCR Clubman Rally Championship.
As we approach the final round at Vale of Clwyd on the 5th September, we are overjoyed to see our sponsored driver Steve Entwistle and his trusty Mini Sport prepared Marigold Mini Mayfair, lead the Championship with the highest score in the rally, reigning over the mighty capability of the Porsches and Escorts in which he is contending against.
Over the previous 8 rounds, Steve has battled with the notable giants of Motorsport to bring the ‘Orangebox’ to victory on some of the toughest stages and auto tests across the country.
We spoke with Steve, who summarised his 2015 season and illustrated those fine trials and tribulations of Historic Rallying which keeps us all anxiously anticipating the next round…
“With just one rally left in the championship, the Vale of Clywd on the 5th September, myself and my famous ex Roy Mapple ‘Orangebox’ Mini with its Mini Sport Padiham ‘works’ engine and backing from the well known Mini specialist, we lead the championship from reigning champion Howard Warren and his orange (!) Porsche 911.<
The year started off well with the Tour of Cheshire with last year’s championship winning navigator Andy Pullan, 5th overall and a class win and good points. Next was the North Yorks with Bob Hargreaves, not a good result, 23rd overall with some damage to the car incurred in the tests in Duncombe park, which were very rough. Next event was the Ilkley Jubilee with Ali Proctor on the maps, a good event and a cracking result with 2nd overall and the class win.
Next we were off to south Wales with Matt Fowle from Hove in Sussex, despite Matt not arriving late due to delays and us not ever sitting in a car together we finished a very fast event 2nd overall again!! The next round was based in Kent, which we gave a miss, so the next round was the East Anglian with Andy Ballantyne, news reader on Heart FM Devon and co-driver to Julian Wilkes in the BTRDA championship. Again another new partnership, but a good day, lots of very fast tests, we caught and passed 16 cars during the tests, we finished an excellent 4th overall.
Next it was back to south Wales again with Matt Fowle and the Ross Traders, a favourite event of mine with lovely fast and smooth tests in the forests of Dean. Third overall and a class win was a good result. A few weeks later and Matt Fowle made the journey up to Ripon for the St Wilfreds rally. After a rough, tough day, very hard on the Mini, we were surprised and happy with another 3rd overall and a class win. This leaves me with the last round with another ‘new’ navigator, the very successful Mark Appleton on the maps. Watch this space!…’
As we near the final event at the challenging Vale of Clywyd Classic, which will pose ten special tests with six regularity stages that aim to ‘test the experts’, we are excited to prep the ‘Orangebox’ for this final hurdle in a season of dedication and dexterity…