As we approach the 3rd round of the HRCR Mintex ‘Old Stager’ Championship incorporating the Mini Sport Mini Challenge at the Red Dragon I.T. Stages this Saturday on the 23rd May, we revisit the previous round at the Historic Mini Epynt with a comprehensive review from the HRCR’s press. The last round, also known as the ‘Dixies Historic Championship’ offered some great performances from an eclectic range of classic cars; with the addition of the Mini Sport Mini Challenge and HRCR Imp Cup contenders who really delivered on these asphalt stages. Read on for a complete over view of the day on the infamous ranges….

HRCR Mintex ‘Old STAGER’ Championship 2015 incorporating the Mini Sport Mini Challenge and The HRCR Imp Cup

Thomas takes maiden championship victory on first ever ‘Dixies Historic Challenge’ The second round of the ‘Old Stager’ Championship, The Dixies Historic Challenge sponsored by Pontypridd Accident Repair Centre took place on the infamous Epynt Military Ranges. A new event in the calendar organised by South Wales AC and Griffin Motor Club, primarily aimed at historic cars and having a one day format offering 43 stage miles over ten stages. Thirteen ‘Old Stager’ championship crews started, and with the prevailing rain and fog providing challenging road conditions, the crews were kept busy from the off. In Category one Shane Gamble & Jonny ‘tad’ Evans took the class win in their hired Austin Mini Cooper with a two minute and fifty four second lead over John Brooks & Craig Dolman in their Mini cooper. Brooks explained that an engine mis-fire was why he was down on stage times also there where oil pressure issues on the two final stages. Less fortunate were Peter Horsburgh & Graham Carter who retired their mini with a broken driveshaft on stage two. Eifion Thomas & Peter Evans in their Escort RS2000 took a hard fought Category Two victory, top ‘Old Stager’ and ninth overall on their first championship event of the year.

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Above: The Mini Sport Mini Challenge contenders at Round 2 of the HRCR ‘Old Stager’ Championship

Their winning margin was just thirty seconds over another new championship crew Jonathan Ford & Peter Thomas also in an Escort. Leading contenders David Stokes & Guy Weaver unfortunately crashed out of the event on stage four after hitting a patch of oil left by another car. David commenting that with no grip on the road and despite his best efforts they were just passengers in the accident. Fortunately no serious damage was sustained but a check over the cars suspension will be needed before the next round. Adding interest in the category was Simon Malins & Colin Tombs in the Martin Group replica Vauxhall Firenza they were pleased to finish the event after a scare on stage four when the car failed on the start line.

Elfion Thomas

Category three saw father and son crew Stuart & Jack Anderson in the Chevettes taking the honours finishing seven minutes ahead of rivals Lee Sellars & Peter Alldread in the big Triumph 2.5PI. The Anderson’s Chevette HS had an exciting time spinning and sliding around in the tricky conditions caused by the spilt oil on wet tarmac.

The Mini Sport Mini Cup

In the Mini Sport Mini Cup Challenge, six Mini’s entered the rally with Clive King extending his lead by coming first mini home, first in class and twentieth overall with a respectable time of forty five minutes and twenty two seconds to complete all 10 stages. Clive reported that the stages were trying but he would do the event again. Andrew O’Hanlon was second and commented that he had “Thoroughly enjoyed the event as it is one of my favourite places, despite being the place where I had the worst accident.” Eric Davis & Russell Joseph in their Mini Clubman, sporting a five port engine after the usual eight port had been terminally damaged last time out, swapped times throughout the day with Andrew with them keeping a close eye on Shane Gamblem & Jonny Evans at the end with Shane taking faster times then Eric on the last two stages by a few seconds.

Clive King

Eric and Russell pleased to make the finish after recent reliability problems. Shane & Jonny taking fourth in class just two places behind. John Brooks & Craig Dolman introduction to the challenge went well with the Mini putting in good times during the day. They finished the event in thirty seventh overall fifth in class. Peter Horsburgh & Graham Carter who had unfortunately retired is hoping to be out again on round three at Down Ampney but he will definitely be out fighting for points on Isle of Man. Crews now head off to round three the Red Dragon IT stages at Down Ampney on the 23rd May, with some of the leading crews away there is a great opportunity to grab some points.


Above: The winners from Round 2 at the ‘Historic Mini Epynt’ 

Stay tuned on our blog and Facebook for exclusive news and photos surrounding the HRCR ‘Old Stager’ Championship 2015 incorporating the Mini Sport Mini Challenge. We look forward to this Saturday for the 3rd instalment in this tears championship at the Down Ampney’s ‘Red Dragon I.T. Stages‘…75 miles of asphalt stages. Bring it on!