Rally of the Tests - Proloog

Rally of the Tests - Proloog


Welcome to the start of what promises to be an epic RAC Rally of The Tests.

Starting in the manicured surroundings of Carden Park, near Chester, 93 competitors from all over the globe set off into the darkness on the event prologue, the traditional start to what has become a “must-do” event in the historic rallying world. Spanning three and a half days, crews will travel no less than 780 miles 29 tests, 21 regularity sections and 2 Time Control Sections set in the dark. The battle in the Golden Roamer championship is intensifying with the top three navigators within seven points of each other, all three are competing in this event and the upcoming Le Jog meaning that this event could well be pivotal in sealing or denying the title for one of them. The HERO Cup once again looks to be going to Paul Crosby, however, with Jayne Wignall just 29 points behind, Paul needs to score points on this event to clinch it with Jayne (as yet) not competing on Le Jog.


Getting the event underway were Andy Lane / Tony Brooks in their Volvo 123GT, Lane, last year’s winner, looking pensive as they crossed the start line to head along the Welsh Marches and into the first action of the event, a regularity section starting to the north-west of Burlton, just off the A528 near Wackley Farm. The instructions looked innocuous with just five points to plot of which three had either approach or depart instructions as the clue to the route. Running south-east into the village of Weston Lullingfields, the first timing point came up at the end of a farm track which was easy to miss in the dark. Simon/NIall Frost struggled here dropping 21 seconds whilst Paul Bloxidge/John Youd dropped a maximum one minute here. Turning left and heading south a slot right bypassing the village of Stanwardine in the Fields headed crews to the second timing point at a junction near Blackberry Hill, this was testing some of the crews as Andrew Hamer/Bob Kerry lost a minute along with several others who dropped time here. The last section on this regularity took in Grug Hill and Elbridge before the last plot of the instructions took crews long way round a loop before the final timing point at Tedsmore Hall.


The first test of the event came in the dark at Rednal Karting, a good-sized crowd gathered to watch the first action in the dark as most of the car park was close to filling up by the time the first ten cars had arrived. Paul Wignall/Mark Appleton were lightning quick here as were Jonathon Hancox/Richard Lambley. The Triumph pair of Hancocks/Lambley also having a storming run in the lanes to end the prologue leading the event.

A short link section heading north east brought the event to Spunthill and a semi-marked map with some junctions omitted for the crews to decide the route they would take. Again, a farm played a big part in proceedings with the first timing point set in a farm yard, this caught John Abel/Martyn Taylor out in their Alfa Romeo along with Steve Sly/Nick Green as well as many others. This regularity took in roads around some of the great Meres of the area with no less than five Meres being passed along the way. Out of Colemere and crossing Pikes End Moss brought the second timing point into view, Lyneal gave way to the white road at Clarepool Moss where the “unsuitable for motor vehicles” sign as crews entered the slot put doubt into some minds if the correct route was being followed, those that did go with the route found a timing point 3/4 of the way along the track. Through Welshampton and a longer section over Hill Top and Hampton Wood the fourth timing point came up at Greddington, and then onto the last Timing Point close to The Bryn Before End of Regularity close to Horseman’s Green.


The final action of the prologue came just outside the town of Wrexham where a test at Demon Tweeks with Steve Entwistle/Ali Procter firing on all cylinders to be quickest in their class on this test, the pair putting an earlier electrical scare behind them.

Crossing back into England, Carden Park was a welcome sight as a good night’s rest was in order for the first full day’s competition would total some 280 miles, the prologue was a delightful taster of what was to come for the crews, judging by the appetites displayed at dinner, it was an event that would be relished.


Kev Haworth

Results Proloog

foto's: ©Blue Passion/HERO