Following the second round of the Mini Sport Mini Cup as part of the HRCR’s ‘Old Stager’ Championship, we have received the official report from the HRCR – charting the performances at ‘Dixie’s Historic Challenge’ at Epynt. You can follow all progress of the Mini Sport Mini Cup on our official Facebook page.
The Championship will be open to Category 1,2,3 & 4 historic specification cars with separate awards for each category, no overall winner and will follow the MSA Historic Rules and regulations. HRCR Mintex ‘old STAGER’ Asphalt Stage Rally Championship 2016 incorporating the Mini Sport Mini Challenge. Title: Dixies Historic Challenge proves a Challenge for all HRCR Crews.
Sunday the 1st May saw the South Wales Automoblie Club Ltd, P.A.R.C Garage Dixies Historic Challenge take place on the Military Ranges in the Brecon Beacons just outside Sennybridge. The event was 40 plus stage miles with 12 stages taken two at a time with a quick service in between. With the weather forecast promising rain the 30 HRCR crews including a record 20 Minis which just made it through scrutineering just before the heavens opened.
The persisting weather conditions of wind and rain for the rest of the day made the stages extremely slippery for the crews not being helped by oil being dropped on one of the stages by a preceding car. Many of the crews commenting on how greasy the surface was, after coming in to the first service.
The day didn’t start well for Vauxhall Firenza crew, Simon Malins and Colin Tombs as their steering failed turning into the service area as they were getting the car off the trailer. “we had the earliest bath ever in my rally career!”
This category was comfortably won by the well-paced TR4 Crew of Stephen Hall / Aggie Foster with them only 35 seconds behind Cat 2 car of Efion Thomas. Adrian Kermode / Maurice Beckett and Shame Gamble / Bob Ward were tussling with times further down the field with only 11 seconds between them after the final stage, Adrian having his back brakes bled after the first round of stages. Mini of Peter Horsborough / Graham Carter suffered engine power issues all day with no top end speed and then discovering why it was handling badly once he got home due to the hydrolastic suspension was failing on the left hand side of the car. Gwilym Roberts with Debbie Myers returned to Epynt for the first time since 2001 “The Tarmac has much improved since I was last here.” taking their Ford Lotus Cortina to 42nd Overall. Ken Pryce / Don James were another crew to suffer a misfire during the day causing them considerable time lost having just fitted a 970cc engine. A change of distributor did not fix the issue and they had to limp through the last stages of the day. Investigation once home revealed a broken rocker.
Efion Thomas claimed Cat 2 victory after signing up for the championship on the day. Efion bringing the Escort home 20th overall with only 30 sec separating 17th-20th positions. Clive King / Anton Bird over minute behind Efion was first Mini home, suffering oil pressure issues during the last couple of stages. Jim Brindle managed to get the clubman back on the road after the incident in the AGBO Stages and was setting some competitive times along with Jon Ford / Peter Thomas in their Escort after their issue in Weston Park. Jon taking 29th overall on the event. Eric Davis / Russell Joseph had windscreen wiper failure on the earlier stages hampering their progress. Andrew O’Hanlon / Ryan Taylor event got off to a very bad start when their accelerator cable snapped on the first junction on the first stage after their temporary repaired failed. They managed to fix it, to carry on but a misfire thwarted their attempt to claim the lost time back ending up 46th overall. Jon Worthing / John Cadwallader had alternator issues and the battery died on the car forcing retirement. Doug Harrison / Mike Harrison had a faultless day describing Eypnt as “No margin for error and very unforgiving if you got it off tarmac, as some obviously did.”
This category saw Kevin / Lee Jones bring their Ferrari 308 GP4 Michelotto out for the first time and they certainly did not disappoint. Although complaining of a misfire when they turned on an electric fan, they would go on to finish first in the category and take 9th overall. Regular cat 3 competitors Stuart and Jack Anderson were having a great day tussling with the Ferrari for time and were up to 17th overall until an altercation with a rock after sliding on some oil left by another car saw them go home early, the Vauxhall Chevette breaking a wheel and pushing the suspension back. Peter Lewis / Alan Lewis had an eventful day in the The Humfrys and Symonds liveried Ford Escort with being caught out by the same oil on a downhill six right and then taking a spin into the scenery on a T junction they finished 36th overall.
Results Cat 1 – Stephen Hall / Aggie Foster in the TR4 Cat 2 – Efion Thomas in the Ford Escort Cat 3 – Kevin / Lee Jones in the Ferrari 308 GP4 First Historic Mini – Clive King / Anton bird First open class Mini – Jonathan / Nigel Bennett Note For editor: The 2016 HRCR Mintex ‘Old Stager’ Asphalt Stage Rally Championship incorporating the Mini Sport Mini Challenge consists of seven rounds – 1. AGBO Stages, 2. Dixies Historic Challenge, 3. Red Dragon IT Stages 4. Garth Tyre and Auto Services Midsummer Caerwent, 5. Carfax Throckmorton Stages, 6/7. Rallyee Classicagh Rally Isle of Man. The Championship will be open to Category 1,2,3 & 4 historic specification cars with separate awards for each category, no overall winner and will follow the MSA Historic Rules and regulations. The next event is the Red Dragon IT Stages, at Down Ampney on May 28th. This is a Non Spectator rally unfortunately with only competitors and service crews allowed on the site.
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