By Phil Jobson
With a few rounds to go in the Northern Historic Rally Championship (NHRC), I almost believed it was possible to win it outright. But to come 2nd overall, and to the legend Steve Bannister, I think it can be counted as a very successful 2016 season.
A good run on Malcolm Wilson (38th o/a), Pirelli Historic (14th o/a) and DMack Carlisle Stages (33rd o/a) left me leading the Drivers standings in the NHRC. So I elected to contest the Scottish with Jerry Hettrick alongside. We won our class, and finished a respectable 46th overall on a very rough BRC Rally. I achieved my best overall result on the Greystoke Stages with 8th o/a, again thanks to Jerry.Caroline J sat in on The Pendragon Stages where we suffered severely from low oil pressure when the oil was hot (see below), and we had to really back off.
Out of 9 rounds of the British Historic Rally Championship, we completed only 4 rounds, yet still managed to win Class C5. We finished 3rd Category 2 crew.
I managed to select two gears at the same time on these one stage of the Severn Valley, and retired whilst going well. Nevertheless, a quick fix of the box by Richard Clark and a change to tarmac setup overnight, and we were away the following day to finish 23rd on the “Mini Epynt”.
Epynt proved to be our downfall the following BHRC round, however, when I over-‐revved the engine (yes, it is possible to over-‐rev a BDA!) requiring a rebuild. The Marshal moved the start lights as we were manoeuvring into position, so we had to reverse and move to a different position. I was mad as a hatter!!
But Epynt bit back later in the stage when the engine nipped up… You might be asking how (whether) we landed ……
We chose not to enter the Red Dragon Stages, a wet slither around a quarry 300+ miles from Carlisle.
Rally Isle of Man is undoubtedly one of the best events all year. We suffered oil pressure problems on Thursday night, using a fully synthetic oil. We scored reasonable BHRC points on the first round (Thurs night/Friday) despite backing off a bit. Electing to change the oil to a semi-‐synthetic cured the problem…..strange but true. Then on the Friday night we blitzed it pulling out a lead over Simon Tyson/Cliff Simmons in a similar Mk1 of over 17s (for that second round BHRC). So Saturday should’ve been a breeze. Not so. We reccied “Snuff The Wind” (4th last stage) only once, and road repair vehicles distracted my noting. We’d normally run through a second time, but part of the stage was being used as a Shakedown by the time we got there. The stage was bumpy, twisty. The rear offside dry compound Pirelli skipped on some damp mud and water on one side of the stage, and propelled us into the offside bank, jettisoning us hard into the near side bank and spinning us 180deg to block the stage. Game over …. and boy did my ribs hurt! 100mph to zero in about 30m. What added salt to the wound was that Simon / Cliff also went off (maybe chasing us), lost time, but still finished 3rd Historic. What might have been. Almost there!
A busy, but thoroughly enjoyable and largely successful 2016.
2017 sees Snowy fully rebuilt and another assault on the BHRC. Oh, and as many Spadeadam 12 Cars as possible!