Solway Classic Rally 2014

By Richard Clark

With the start based at Rowrah Kart track, this rally whose slow pace, laid back scrutineering, and straightforward navigation made it more of a catch up with blasts from the past. This time we were competing in a 1964 Mini Cooper S, owned by Nigel Hepburn.

The first test on the kart track itself led to a half spin, but otherwise good. The second test in the pits posed no problems at all. The road sections used tulip diagrams and distances to junctions, not that hard, as it’s a mini, the mileage is easy to read thanks to the speedo being in the middle! On the road sections we also had to collect markers.

Next test we did, was at the motor bike track, slightly rough, but good all the same. Then it was on to the Lillyhall autotest, this was in the car park of Gen2. Most tests were similar to S.M.C. autotests.

We then headed to the quarry, this was a good test. A start half way up, then stop, then restart. Same on the way out.

It was more of a fun day, with lots of laughing and chatting, remembering rallies of by gone years (must have been all the old cars!).

Then on to a more tests in various car parks, and lunch stop back at Gen2.

We then repeated that test, with more laughing and yes, me being sick!

All in all, a very good day, and looking forward to the next outing!

(Looking forward to the Blue Streak!)

Richard Clark

Circuit Historique de Laon, France, 2014

By Richard Clark

Who: Nigel Hepburn, Richard Clark & Friends – Stag party with a difference

rcCar: Ford Escort Mk1, RS2000 Uniflow Replica

This was a very good event that attracted over 450 entries from all over.

Day 1. First was the meet and greet, with lots of looking under cars and bonnets. The Mk1 Uniflow replica was getting a lot of attention, and if I’d had a pound for every photo taken of it, I’d be able to go back again! One guy took 2 rolls worth of film and asked all the right things!

 Day 2 – We signed on and parked up at old Laon Castle’s walls, with every type of car imaginable. From there we set off on a leisurely run in France, trying to follow the route, and yes, it was time to get lost!!

Once out of Leon, it was no problem, we parked up again surrounded by Ferraris and Porsches, MGs and Morgans. Once again, like bees to honey, we were swarmed. Then it was onto our destination for the day, and lunch! This was served by friends who had taken the direct route. Parked up, there were cars everywhere again. The car park was for around 300 cars, but there must have been 450+! (Mayhem!). On the return journey, the scenery was great. The locals were friendly and there was lots of waving and even more photos with very enthusiastic onlookers. However at that point the Mk1 decided not to play nicely, and the clutch cable came off. Quick call for help and it was soon fixed again. That’s classic engineering for you, (not that modern stuff!).


Day 3 – The roads were closed in Laon and it was a case of driving round, or maybe that should be “crawl round” with over 450 cars. In the afternoon though they were much clearer and it was my time to drive (YES!). Onwards, up hill, past Ford versus Renault Alpine, seriously good fun (and lots of sideways action). Though in the centre, we had to be very slow as people just jumped out to take photos, more photos!!

Overall, a really good time and I’d recommend it to anyone.

Thank you Nigel for the loan of the car.