The HRCR Mintex ‘Old Stager’ Championship incorporating the Mini Sport Mini Challenge is way underway, as we pass the third round of six for the 2015 season. Last saturday the Old Stager championship travelled to Down Ampney near Cirencester for the ‘Red Dragon I.T Stages’ for 75 miles of Asphalt. Kevin Baldwin, official media representative for the HRCR ‘OLd Stager’ gives us a comprehensive run-down of the day with all trials, tribulations and victories for this challenging stage.
A warm and sunny day welcomed the 11 crews to Down Ampney for the Red Dragon IT Stages run by Emcos – Round three of the championship. The event consisted of 8 stages run around the disused airfield with splits and a water splash for crews to contend with. This made the concrete slippery in places. Stuart /Jack Anderson in the Vauxhall HS Chevette took top honors of the day, not only winning Cat three but coming fifteenth overall, their highest ever placing on an event with total time of 64:40. This is especially rewarding given the quality of the modern vehicles taking part.
Cat one. Bill Douglas/Ian Hamer took victory in their BMW 1800 over John Brooks/Phil Harvey in the Austin Mini Cooper by 12 seconds overall. Peter Horsburgh/Graham Carter had been setting fastest stage times until their unfortunate retirement after stage 4 due to mechanical problems.
Cat two winners Andrew O’Hanlon/Ryan Taylor, were showing good pace out on the stages resulting with an excellent twenty sixth overall. Paul Kendrick and Clive King’s regular co driver, Anton Bird were not far behind with a total of 71:03 after the eight stages. Once again, engine trouble forced Simon Malins/Colin Tombs in the Vauxhall Firenza to retire, the car going sick after just one stage. Another disappointment in what is the best presented car at scrutineering.
Cat three Stuart/Jack Anderson had a very successful day taking the category win saying “the only issue was over filling the gearbox”. The father and son pairing Lee/Sean Sellars were not so lucky with the pair hitting a bale in a chicane on the first stage resulting in damage to the front of the Triumph PI. Never the less they managed to carry on and compete the day with a determined forty-first overall.
Mini Sport Mini challenge was once again well supported with seven minis taking part. Andrew O’Hanlon/ Ryan Taylor take the top Mini Challenge position with John Brooks/Phil Harvey, 2nd and Paul Kendrick/Anton Bird taking 3rd. The rest of the minis gradually fell by the way side during the day. Disaster stuck Shane Gamble/Jonny ‘Tad’ Evans on the penultimate stage with a mini producing a lot of smoke. Eric Davis/ Russell Joseph had a radiator hose come off on stage six leading to the end of their rally. New Comers Peter Elerby/Ian Jackson stopped in stage one after the car stopped unexpectedly and then refused to start. A sad exit given all the late nights and hours of work spent getting the car ready for its first event. Peter Horsburgh/Graham Carter stopped after stage four with mechanical problems. Hopefully this will all be behind them for the next round of the championship, which is the televised round of Sweet Lamb Historic Rally on 19th July 2015.
The next round of the championship will be held on Sunday, 19th July at the ‘Sweet Lamb Historic Stages’ a gravel stage at a well-established Mid Wales venue. We’re intrigued to see how this championship will pan out across these final three rounds. Be sure to follow our Facebook page for exclusive photos and footage!
Please note: The 2015 HRCR Mintex ‘Old Stager’ Historic Stage Rally Championship incorporating the Mini Sport Mini Cup consists of six rounds – 1. Rally North Wales, 2. Dixies Historic Challenge, 3. Red Dragon IT Stages 4. Sweet Lamb Historic Rally, 5. Isle of Man Rally, 6. Cambrian. 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.
Photos from Startline Media