HRCR Mini Sport Cup 2019: Round 4 – JD Competition Tyres Bob Shaw Memorial Brawdy Stages
Rallying at it’s absolute best, fantastic rally with all the twists & turns for a sensational event!
New for our 2019 calendar is the JD Competition Tyres Bob Shaw Memorial Brawdy Stages Rally, covering 8 Miles of smooth yet erosive surfaces for each run, our crews had 6 Stages to complete. With only 7 of our Mini teams registered, many of our crews tried to get a run on the rally but left it until after Down Ampney to enter, and it was full with 14 reserves. Well received by those who competed, Brawdy Stages gave our crews nearly 60 Stage miles for just the £200 entry fee, which may be why it filled so quickly! The warm & dry weather caused Brake overheating issues for many of our crews, despite being overcast!
Regrettably, Roy Jarvis & Luke Greaves were the first crew forced to retire from the event in Stage 2, when absolutely flying at 100mph, they braked – causing the Front Hub Assembly to part company with the Mini!
It was also a truly tragic end to the rally for Ken Pryce & Don James, who had been on to a winner, despite having a Damper Pin break – by chance, Clive had a spare, which got the crew back out. Leading the Minis, right up until the very last Stage, when a mere 3 corners in, they were struck down with complete Transmission Failure, halting their impressive run!
Harvey Stevens & Lawrence Selly got off to an interesting start to the rally… With Lawrence completing the entire course on a pair of Roller Skates, that’s certainly one way to Recce! Settling back in to their respective roles again on Stage 1, after a damaging off on their first event earlier in the year, Harvey & Lawrence took it steady away, even allowing the 2 cars seeded behind them past. Having had to rebuild the Mini, the crew were delighted with it’s performance, despite the sheer number of crews tormented with Brake complications, the Mini was running faultlessly – which aiding in building Harvey & Lawrence’s confidence back up – the gaining confidence, mimicked in the times that were being attained, getting stronger as the day progressed. It wasn’t all plain sailing for our crew though, as Lawrence explained, “Stage 4, start line, Pace notes ready, both of us focused. 3, 2, 1… And the Exhaust decided to detach itself from the Manifold! The rev’s spiked and stayed at 3,000 on idle, and Harv made the decision to stop after the first corner, wait for the juniors to pass, and limp back through the start line and fix it. We took maximum time, but again, no problem – the mission today is simple, finish, and bring the car home in one piece. So a 5 min fix, and we were ready to go again.” Stage 5 & 6 Harvey & Lawrence began to push that bit more, trying to be smooth yet brave. The sudden influx of rain & wanting to avoid a repeat of the incident that resulted in having to rebuild the Mini, the crew backed off slightly and finished 1st in Class & 5th Mini o/a. With Lawrence adding that, “It was a successful day, leading to a neat photo opportunity at the end – the Midlands triple. We drove home overjoyed, ready to take on Solway!” The teams finish, means that they will receive the all important signature, required for their National A Licence that is compulsory for competing on the Tour of Flanders.
Tormented from the 1st Stage with boiled Brake Fluid, this set the tone of the rally for Craig King & Adrian Lloyd – with this occurring on every Stage! Things went from bad to worse on the penultimate Stage, where the crew completely lost the Brakes whilst flat out in 4th Gear on the approach to a very tight Chicane. Knowing that they had absolutely no chance of making it through & thinking fast, Craig decided to risk sliding it on the Hand Brake, unfortunately, they were going too fast which resulted in hitting the tyres – breaching the Mini in a field! Ever the dutiful navigator, Adrian hopped out, pushing the Mini back on the course, but loosing about a minute. Very little mechanical damage meant that the pair could crawl out of Stage, back to Service… Craig & Adrian were rattled to learn that their off had cost them their Class lead, with Stuart Hart & Catherine Farrell now dominating the Class by just 2 seconds! Going in to the final Stage, King knew it was going to be a fierce battle between the 2 crews – attacking the Stage a little too hard, resulted in a loss of Brakes again, massively knocking Craig’s confidence, backing off to score a finish of 4th Mini & 2nd in Class, with Stuart & Catherine topping the Class.
Realising that he was given an incorrect time of 11 minutes on Stage 1, when it should have been 11.40, Stuart protested his own time – an action which allowed Craig & Adrian to take 3rd Mini o/a & 1st in Class! Craig went on to say of Stuart, “Occasionally these timing errors happen in rallying but unless it is protested, nothing gets done about them, and I was certainly not going to protest his time and risk souring the event for them. But Stuart, showing his incredibly honest character, went and protested his own time which meant that I ended up 3rd mini home and 1st in class. Stuart’s actions are inconceivably honourable and not only shows what a brilliant sportsman he is, but also highlights the camaraderie of the competitors in the Mini Sport Cup.”
Peter Ellerby & Colin Tombs had a strong run, with the Mini never missing a beat, the Service Crew didn’t have to put a spanner to it all day! The only issue the team faced was that Colin was unwell, suffering with Whooping Cough, it made it extremely difficult for him to read the Pace Notes for Peter, due to his constant coughing. Credit where credit is due though, having made the lengthy journey down from the North East to compete, Peter & Colin finished 2nd in Class & 2nd Mini o/a!
Clive King & Anton Bird were plagued with Braking issues from the off, being forced to bleed the Brakes in first service and finding that the Brakes had been so hot, that even the Rubber Covers on the Ball Joints had burnt! Stage 2 and more issues swiftly arose, with Clive & Anton loosing the Brake Peddle, back in service; the crew changed the fluid again only to find that the Driver’s side Caliper had broken! Forced to change the broken Caliper, the crew set off in to Stage 3 – praying for no more issues… Alas, luck was not on their side! Pedal to the floor, Clive found that he could only use the Hand Brake to slow the car – costing the crew 40 seconds & their top spot, as Ken Pryce & Don James pushed for a lead on the Minis. Discovering that the Seals had blown in their replacement Caliper, it was nearly game over for Clive & Anton… Fortuitously, Roy Jarvis leapt to the rescue, offering to take the Caliper off his Mini (after his own retirement), keeping King & Bird in the rally. Finally, Brake issues over, there was the opportunity for Clive & Anton to get on the attack, to make up some of their lost time. Clawing back 18 seconds out of Ken & Don, it just wasn’t enough, going in to the final Stage still 26 seconds behind their rivals, who were coincidentally bidding for their 1st, 1st place finish. Making their way round the final Stage, much to Clive & Anton’s surprise, they passed Ken & Don parked up side of Stage. Resulting in Clive & Anton going on to take 1st Mini o/a! Clive went on to say that, “We felt for Ken, we really did – we’ve been in that position before and know just how gutting it is. Massive thank you to Roy Jarvis, his kindness just shows what a brilliant Championship it’s been this year, we all help each other.” With navigator Anton adding, “Rallying is about luck and opportunity, our luck over the last couple of years has been a bit thin on the ground, but with three wins now in three rallies, we are well chuffed with that. Some luckily, with Sunday being no exception. BUT we will take that, in it at the end and in a position to take the win and that’s what we will continue to strive for.” Clive & Anton are now joint leaders of the 2019 Championship, tying with Jack Hartley & Gary Dawes on 105 points each (equivalent to 3 maximum scores).
Congratulations Clive & Anton!
The Yokohama prize of two regulation tyres, used throughout the Championship, was awarded to Ken Pryce, Craig King won the 5L of Penrite Classic Mini Oil & the Questmead prize for best improvement on seeding was awarded to Clive King – who was seeded 73rd & finished 42nd!
Roy Jarvis / Luke Greaves – Stage 2
Ken Pryce / Don James – Stage 5
1st Category 1 Clive King / Anton Bird
1st Category 2 Craig King / Adrian Lloyd
1st Category 3 Harvey Stevens / Lawrence Selly
Full results from the 2019 Brawdy Stages Rally can be found on the here.
To catch up with all the action from the Mini Sport Cup, please see here.
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(Photos courtesy of Clive King, Anton Bird & Stuart Hart)