The gap between Christmas and the return to work is often a chance for some time off and a holiday, however no break this time with three different events in three different cars planned!
First up was a autotest with the newly form South Oxon Car Club at Oxford’s Football ground car park. Although damp and cold there was a lot of grip on the tarmac and the tight tests showed up the lack of steering lock and effective handbrake with the ZR. This meant some reversing. However it was some good practice for tight tests in the ZR and by the end of the event I finished up 5th in class and 6th overall.
The next day it was an early start for the Mini Tempest Stages at Rushmoor, this time I was navving for Suze. The Newton brothers had saved us a spot in service so we could be together and we unloaded, passed noise and scrutineering, signed on and we were ready to go.
It did help a little knowing the venue (we had some great results here just a month ago!), but conditions and the new bits were also an unknown. The organisers had recommended walking to see the split/flying finish/stop as they said it was tricky though it was simple enough to call it certainly caught out many drivers….
The next couple of stages went well, but then SS4 was a little interesting. We came off the start and through the merge and all was fine, but then I couldn’t see anything except white smoke. It then became clear there was oil down and we tiptoe’d round the bend and I spotted the car in front (on their second lap) was on fire. It wasn’t a nice thing to see as we were completely helpless to warn them, but it seemed to self extinguish and they pulled off albeit leaving their mark with a trail of oil!
Coming round for our second lap, a Fiesta came through the merge just in front of us. He of course did not know about the oil… so having dropped back ready to tip toe through the 90 degree right hand bend and hairpin left, we watched him sail straight off when his car would not stop. We found out afterwards they were fine and continued after meeting the kerb and a couple of pallets.
The Newtons in the Nova unfortunately had to retire with diff pin issues around this time, which meant we knew we were second in class; dropping a few seconds per stage to the class leaders but with a comfortable gap of over a minute to 3rd in class. Aside from a rather interesting tank slapper over a crest on SS7 (which thankfully came back), the rest of the event was fairly uneventful for us.
Finishing second in class and with over a two minute gap to third and just over 40 seconds off the class winners was a good way to end our 2019 season.
Then just into a new year and new decade it was off to do a Car Trail in the Rover 25, this is our ‘freebe car’ which after the trial as destined for stripping for parts and the scrap man. So this meant we could abuse the car and have a bit of fun. Although a Rover 25 is not a big car, on Car Trails it really does feel big. The ‘red shed’ as we named the car performed faultlessly all day, taking all the bumps and bouncing off the rev limiter we could give it. We were never in contention against the seasoned crews who seems to just trickle up the hills with ease, but we had a great days fun.
During 2019 I competed in my highest number of events and disciplines, I competed on 32 events and 12 different disciplines, on my way to hopefully securing the Chelmsford MC Clubmans (All-rounders) Championship for the 12th time.
Over the year I competed as :-
12 Car Driver & Navigator, Road Rally Driver, Stage Rally Driver & Navigator, Targa Rally Driver & Navigator, Autotest, Autotest, AutoX, Sprint (Hill-Climb) and Car Trial
Results on these events varied, but clearly the highlight of 2019 was winning the Rushmoor Targa Rally!
All results from 2019 :-
Boundless NWL 12 Car – MGZR – Driver : Suze Endean – 3rd overall & 2nd in class
VCRR – ‘Bagger’ Road Rally – MGZR – Nav : Kevin Ablitt – 12th overall & 11th in class
VSCC Pomeroy Trophy Race – Silverstone – 19th overall & 2nd in class
7Oaks Scatter Rally – Nav : Suze Endean – 1st Overall
Bath Festival Targa Rally – Driver : Mark Peterson – MGZR – 11th overall & 8th in class
FDMC – Bramley Targa Rally – Nav : Suze Endean – MGZR – 37th overall & 8th in class
FDMC – Bramley Targa Rally – Driver : Suze Endean – MGZR – 29th overall & 7th in class
CMC – Wethersfield Targa Rally – Nav : Suze Endean – MGZR – 9th overall & 8th in class
CMC – Wethersfield Targa Rally – Driver : Suze Endean – MGZR – 24th overall & 13th in class
Bath MC – Kemble Targa Rally – Nav : Lizzie Pope – MGZR – 5th overall Nat B event (9th overall combined, 2nd overall of single drivers), 5th in class.
KL&DMC – Wethersfield Targa Rally – Nav : Suze Endean – MGZR – 8th overall & 6th in class
KL&DMC – Wethersfield Targa Rally – Driver : Suze Endean – MGZR – 15th overall & 11th in class
Bath MC – Long Newton AutoX – Micra – 13th Overall & 1st in class
WAC – Debden Targa Rally – MGZR – Nav : Suze Endean – 12th overall & 8th in class
WAC – Debden Targa Rally – MGZR – Driver : Suze Endean – 20th overall & 13th in class
BARC – Gurston Down Hillclimb – MGZR – 100th overall & 8th in class
7OaksMC – Brands Hatch Grass Autotest – MGZR – 3rd overall & 1st in class
Oxford MC – Grass Autotest – MGZR – 4th overall & 1st in class
MACA / Harrow CC – Bovingdon Autosolo – 9th overall & 7th in class
WAC / WSMC – Debden Targa Rally – MGZR – Nav : David Lobb – 3rd overall and 2nd in class
WAC / WSMC – Debden Targa Rally – Ford Focus ST170 – Nav : David Lobb – 8th overall and 4th in class
AMSC – Rix Engineering – Wethersfield Stages – Micra – Nav : Suze Endean – 23rd overall & 4th in class
MMKMC – Summer Slalom (Multi venue autotest) – MGZR – 5th overall & 2nd in class
MACA / Harrow CC – Bovingdon Autosolo – 3th overall & 3th in class
Chelmsford MC – Bonfire Targa Rally – Nav : Suze Endean – 12th overall & 10th in class
Chelmsford MC – Bonfire Targa Rally – Driver : Suze Endean – 24th overall & 18th in class
FDMC – Rushmoor Targa Rally – Nav : Suze Endean – 1st OVERALL!!!
FDMC – Rushmoor Targa Rally – Driver : Suze Endean – 5th overall & 2nd in class
SHMC – Harvest Road Rally – Nav : Suze Endean – 16th overall (8th Nat B) – 4th in class
WSMC – Foxborough Hills Car Trial – Rover 25 (Freebe car!) – 15th overall – 8th in class
SOCC – Christmas Autotest – MGZR – 6th overall & 5th in class
SCMC – Rushmoor Stages – Micra – Driver : Suze Endean – 28th overall & 2nd in cass
(32 events in 2019)