LEADERS MAINTAIN THEIR ADVANTAGE IN TOUR BRITANNIA
RICKETTS HITS THE FRONT ON INDEX
The second leg of competition in Tour Britannia provided yet more high speed action and the leaders in two of the three categories have maintained their advantages. In Competition, Sean Lockyear and Roy Stephenson have extended their lead to 41 seconds, while the all-female crew of Emma Henchoz and Jeanne Taylor holds a 12.2 second advantage in Regularity. In the battle for overall honours - based on index of performance - Malcolm Ricketts has moved into the lead of Tour Britannia.
Yesterday, the crews left Coombe Abbey and headed straight to Mallory Park, before a further four stages, two each at Arbury Hall and Cornbury Park. After lunch in the Orangery at Blenheim Palace, the route took the crews to Silverstone for the closing action of the day around the Historic Grand Prix circuit.
Roger Wills, in the Bizzarrini 5300 GT, led the field at Mallory Park, winning the second race from start to finish and taking overall honours at the Leicestershire circuit. Chris Chiles finished just under four seconds adrift in second in the AC Cobra with Eric Woolley (Austin Healy 3000) third. However, as the crews moved to Arbury Hall, Lockyear and Wills took stage victories, with Wills also winning Cornbury 1 and Paul Howells in the Porsche 911 ST taking his first stage win of the event at Cornbury 2. At Silverstone, this afternoon, Mike Dowd - driving the car he shares with Jeremy Cooke - won after a fantastic battle with Lockyear and Chiles. It was only his third ever race. On the overall leaderboard, status quo is maintained by Lockyear, Chiles and Mike Anderson respectively.
The Tour Britannia Trophy - based on Index of Performance - is now being led by Malcolm Ricketts in his nimble Lotus Elite. Mike Anderson maintains second ahead of third placed Sean Lockyear.
In the Regularity category the men fought back today and claimed wins in six of the eight competitive sections, including road regularity. The close-fought nature of the category is demonstrated by the seven different winners today, including Marc Vandendijk, Nick Gatehouse, Ding Boston and his crew of three students, Joey Beale, Emma Henchoz, Nigel Lax and Hamish Cooke. However, it is the all female crew of Henchoz and Jeanne Taylor who maintain their lead in the Volvo P544.
Tomorrow's final day of competition kicks off with two stages at Swynnerton before the racing takes centre stage, this time at Cheshire's Oulton Park circuit. Before lunch at the Cholmondeley Arms, there are a further two stages in the grounds of Cholmondeley Castle. The final competitive action takes the competitors back to Swynnerton for two more stages, before returning to Coombe Abbey for the finish, prize-giving and Gala Dinner.
Notes & QuotesRegularity
1 Margaret Diffey /Jeremy Haylock Abarth 850TC
Stopped in road regularity section before lunch with co-driver under the bonnet.
2 Marc Vandendijk / Stefan Vandendijk Lotus Elite
"These are good stages and very challenging to do properly. Difficult for us as we have to keep the revs up which made it tricky in places like Cornbury. But such beautiful places everywhere, and today we have the weather to enjoy them properly."
3 Anthony Moody / John Hewitt Aston Martin DB Mk3
At the final control: "We've changed cars [within the family] three times. Last time was such a panic that we just slung everything in the boot, including the time card which is why I had to fetch it from there ."
4 Nicholas Gatehouse / Neil McCann Aston Martin DBS
In the queue to go out at Mallory Park, the Aston refused to move. "About the only thing I know how to change is the rotor arm and when we checked that was just where the spark stopped. The old one was not passing things on to the plugs. Once we traced it and changed it, we were OK. With an Aston of this age, electrical thing - like the wipers yesterday - are in the lap of the gods whether they work or not."
5 Sarah Moody / Justine Moody Ferrari Daytona / Aston Martin DB4
Daytona seen stopped during the road regularity section before lunch. "The engine coughed out a spark plug, stripping the thread as it did so. So we called at home and chose the next best thing to a Ferrari - a red Aston Martin DB4 GT. We are going for gold tomorrow - so Seb Coe, look out!"
7 Sholto Gilbertson / Marcus Atkinson Jaguar E-Type
Appeared at Blenheim with the soft top down: "We lost so much time on Tuesday and even had to resort to bringing the Jag in on a trailer but we've got the alternator changed now and are determined to enjoy as much of this superb event as possible in a proper style."
9 Mark Humphries / Matthew Humphries Jaguar XK 120 Coupe
Observed going into Mallory Park regularity with the co-driver wearing a crash helmet: "I just don't trust his driving. And in any case, we've got Ding Boston in the Bristol running just in front of us . Very good stages, and they come close together so you can't say you are bored. Arbury was quick and then Cornbury not so fast. Super scenery." And crash helmets were in evidence again at Silverstone.
10 Adam Tindell / Jon Frankel Lancia Aurelia B20
"Brilliant event so far. Shame about the weather yesterday and the problems that it caused and the little troubles that afflicted us. But today we are very happy with the event and the world in general. Fantastic event."
12 Roland Duce / Neil Twyman Ferrari Daytona
"We were originally down to do it in the Alfa 8C but - no fault of Neil's - the bodywork chap hasn't quite finished. We thought we might take the Delahaye instead but then the weather forecast wasn't so good so we opted for the Ferrari. Nice and comfortable and we are dry! Loved going to Blenheim. This is such a nice event and we are gradually improving at doing regularity sections."
14 Bob Linwood / Ann Linwood Alfa Romeo Giulia
"You can always count on the English weather to have a few surprises but today is beautiful. We like the format of this event very much. No really long liaison sections, the stages keep coming and each one a new challenge. Much better than some of the European events that we do."
15 Peter Hall / Franca Davenport Triumph GT6
"The most annoying thing today was finding that I had a wet seat in the car this morning. I thought I had stopped all the leaks the last time we used the GT6 in Tasmania. It turns out that it is not the car leaking but just the water draining out of our hydration bags behind the seats. Apart from that, this is all genuinely good fun even if we did go a bit wrong on the road regularity section this afternoon." Co-driver "Big navigational error!"
16 Emma Henchoz / Jeanne Taylor Volvo P544
"With the early start yesterday, I didn't get a decent cup of tea but I'm glad to say I got one this morning and feel a lot better and ready for the fray! Well, we are leading so we need to be fresh and on the ball. We have had an OK morning with no disasters. And the road sections have been really nice."
17 Joey Beale / Giles Cook Fiat Abarth 1000TC
"Very good day. Enjoying ourselves despite going a bit wrong on the road regularity. And there is a strange noise which sounds like rubbing coming from somewhere on the car, but we can't find anything wrong."
18 Rollo Beale / Stephen Beale Alfa-Romeo Giulia
At Mallory Park: "We have had a good breakfast and are on good form. And we're enjoying the event immensely."
25 Hamish Cooke / Henry Fyshe MGB
"I wish we could go flat out on the regularities at circuits. But super event and just wish I could do it in the competition section. Anyway, I am going to call in at home on the way to Silverstone and get a replacement speedometer. Not having one is just so annoying ."
26 Nick Faure / Mary Faure Porsche 356 1500
"Well, we are still talking to one another which must be a good sign! And we have loved it so far. The engine seems to be running-in nicely now on its new plugs. There is a little smoke from it on the overrun, but that's probably just the rings bedding in."
28 Timothy Saunders / Michael Chadwick BMW 3.0 CSL
"I'm afraid that we are still struggling to understand some of the instructions on the regularity sections which is entirely our fault. But somehow we are managing to enjoy it - and getting better."
29 Nigel Lax / Mark Cordery Porsche 911T
"This is only the second time we have done an event like this with regularity sections. We were a bit slow on the uptake on Tuesday but now we're getting better all the time. Wonderful event, so enjoyable and love to do more."
31 Andrew McAlpine / Neville Alderson Lotus Elite
"Pretty much spot on. I used fourth gear all the way through Gerards at Mallory where I was racing for the first time. Super nimble little car especially round the hairpin."
32 Colin Pearcy / Linda Pearcy MGB
"It was just right for Mallory. Gearing just perfect. Almost in top the whole way round." The MGB won its race. "Fantastic fun. We have had two days, two fantastic races - and two more to come. The marshals and everyone are so nice and the route is excellent."
33 Malcolm Ricketts / Robin Longdon Lotus Elite
"Things were going so nicely and we were enjoying the event, but a little worry has crept into our lives - the gearbox is rattling in all the gears. We just hope that the two shafts keep somewhere near one another for a further day because there is not much we can do about it if they don't. Loving the event, just hope to finish."
36 Harvey Death / Elaine Macleod Mini Cooper S
Seen examining electrical junction boxes inside the Mini at Mallory. "I'm afraid that the gremlin that we thought we had put to sleep yesterday has woken up again. It's popping and banging." At which point the co-driver suggests that: "I broke a fingernail yesterday. Perhaps that's fallen in and is shorting something out!" Whatever was done, the car ran OK in the race finishing second to Colin Pearcys MGB. "We could have been closer but I didn't want to light up the tyres off the start and consequently I had to dip the clutch to get going a second time and he just got away from me. Took third for Gerards but could change up into top two thirds of the way round. The part of the event that is on the open road is simply great. Superbly chosen roads and obviously a lot of thought and care gone into their choice."
39 Neil Hadfield / Margaret Jackson Alfa Romeo GTA
"We are having great time. The car is running really well, in fact, you could say it's never run better!"
41 Robi Bernberg / Steve Winter Porsche 2 litre
This Porsche's pedigree was the subject of discussion at Mallory. An Arizona import - hence the LHD - it was prepared for racing by Steve Winter and sold only for him to see it up at auction after it had been shunted and rebuilt. Could not resist owning it and thus it is restored yet again. "We had a good start at Mallory and got past Ian Tandy. I tried to catch that Mini but it was just too fast."
42 Tim Lewis / Richard Challon Ferrari 250GT
"Last year we retired at Mallory so I was very happy to get through OK. Racing in the rain at Snetterton was interesting and Bruntingthorpe was awesome yesterday. I am looking forward to Silverstone."
43 Stanley Gold / Andy Prill Porsche 356 C
'Loved every minute of today. Our 356 may not be the fastest car on the grid but it is very dependable and that means we can enjoy ourselves on these nice stages and road sections."
47 Richard Frankel / Peter Flood Alfa Romeo GTAm / Alfa Romeo Giulia
With the possibility of changing the GTAm gearbox having faded, they turned up this morning with a replacement car. But during the practice at Mallory, the new Giulia slowed and eventually started from the pit lane. "The points had closed up and there was nothing I could do except trundle round. I guess the message should be 'Buy British' and we wouldn't have any of this nonsense." At Coombe Abbey: "We got the points fixed and now its going really well. Of course, its only a 1300cc but it simply loved the Historic Grand Prix circuit at Silverstone - and so did I!"
48 Ian Tandy / Jerry Thomas Porsche 911 Carrera
"No problems. The car is running perfectly and the event is enjoyable."
49 Graeme Jennings / Paul Jennings Porsche 911S
Seen smoking under acceleration at Mallory: "It's filling up the catch tank with oil. There is no obvious cause so we are just hoping that it's not a piston on the way out."
51 Doug Allen / Richard Lugg Ford Falcon Sprint
"Started making up some places but this was my first time on this track [Mallory Park] and so it was difficult to know where the limit was. And that Mini was blindingly fast! And I liked Silverstone though sadly the car didn't seem to like it so much. It was sliding and oversteering quite a bit. We hadn't changed anything since Mallory but perhaps I should have been taking first gear for the hairpin at Mallory and then I would have been sliding there too! Great event."
52 Tim Bryan / Brian Cowan MGB GT V8
"I was hoping to get ahead of more of those Porsches at Mallory but it was not to be."
53 Mike Anderson / Colin Grant Porsche 911S
"We had a fuel supply problem at Mallory. By the end of the long right-hander at Riches, it was dropping onto four cylinders. That wasn't too bad but then we lost third gear. I'm hoping that can be found again ."
54 Chris Chiles / Dave Mountford AC Cobra 289
Had to pull off during Mallory practice to have a new front wheel and tyre fitted. "I had a slight tiff with a Porsche and broke a wheel rim. Mea culpa I'm afraid. I was looking to come off towards the pits at the Esses and just didn't see him. The new tyre hadn't been scrubbed in at all and I had to fight understeer nearly all the way round. About the only place it was OK was at the hairpin." Finished a storming second in its race behind the Bizzarrini. "We had a good race at Silverstone but were being pressed hard by the Martini Porsche which had a lot more rubber than I did so I thought that discretion was the better part of valour and let him through."
55 Paul Howells / Neil Primrose Porsche 911 ST
"We are taking it nice and steady. After yesterday we need to finish. It's been a nice day and we have raced on a good track and everyone has driven in a most gentlemanly fashion. And I think we had an FTD at Cornbury which really completed a fabulous day for us." Paul Howells was quickest on Cornbury 2 and third fastest on Cornbury 1.
58 John Clark / Chris Clark Porsche 911
"I'm afraid that I spun. The miracle was that I went on the grass and then spun five time more without hitting anything - a miracle!" This was John Clark describing his time at Mallory Park. "It's almost the first time I drove this car in anger, we've only had it a couple of weeks."
61 Roger Wills / Olga Wills Bizzarrini 5300 GT
"Enjoyed the racing today. Nice to win at Mallory and Silverstone was great circuit to drive. Super event."
62 Eric Woolley / David Smithies Austin Healey 3000
A race-long dice at Mallory with John Sheldon's Lotus Elan saw the Healey just come out on top: "I was trying to swat that little red insect. But the brakes were going low and I could feel them going soft on me. We should fit new pads but don't have time here as the new ones haven't been drilled yet. But they'll be OK for the stages." They got the pads in later and the car was going well at the finish of the day.
66 Alan Rivers / Alexander Rivers Chevrolet Camaro
"I'm afraid that we are out. Coming away from Cornbury stage towards Blenheim - at a place called Honeycombe - smoke and flames started coming out from behind the dashboard. There was a short circuit in the lighting switch. We stopped but could do nothing until a chap came along with a tool kit and together we disconnected the battery and then threw water over the dashboard to put it all out. The car is definitely recoverable but not for this year's Tour Britannia."
67 Armand Adriaans / Susanne Adriaans AC Cobra Mk1
"We've had a super day and terrific fun. I enjoyed the Silverstone circuit. This car needs a little space in which to enjoy itself."
71 Jon Goodwin / Martin Hine Aston Martin DB6
"She started suffering from fuel starvation at Mallory. I had to take first gear to get away from the hairpin. I thought it was going to die on me a couple of times.
72 John Sheldon / Lesley Stevens Lotus Elan
"It was good to go to Silverstone and have the one big race. The whole thing has been thoroughly enjoyable and the only shame is that there is only one more day."
74 Sean Lockyear / Roy Stephenson Porsche 911
"I cannot believe that he did that." Sean Lockyear's comment on seeing Roy Stephenson spin away the lead on the first lap of the race at Mallory at the entry to the Esses. "I missed a gear. All I can say is that it is the first time I've raced this car and I lost about ten seconds of our overnight lead. So, sorry Sean .". Some ground was recovered - to sixth place in the race, and then Stephenson made up for it with good drives at Arbury and Cornbury.