The 5th Flying Scotsman 2013
19 – 21 April 2013
The 5th Flying Scotsman 2013 - Rally Reports
Look back at three days of rally action on the fifth edition of the Endurance Rally Association's premiere event for Pioneer and Vintage cars.
Click the Flying Scotsman Results Book to download a comprehensive 65 page results book.
Visit the Flying Scotsman Photo Gallery to find Gerard Brown's pictures taken during the event.
Time to Celebrate at Gleneagles
Sunday 21 April, Gleneagles, Scotland
We have arrived at one of Scotland's finest hotels - Gleneagles - to celebrate the end of the 5th Flying Scotsman Vintage car rally.
At eight o'clock over 260 sat down to a gala prize-giving, dining on excellent Aberdeen Angus steaks, with a generous supply of fine wine on each table and not a glass of orange-juice to be seen. It was a glittering standard, right down to table decorations of roses and candlelight, and all illustrated by 400 revolving pictures on a giant screen that reminded everyone of the highlights of a magnificent route. Stories from the past three days and the laughter flowed as freely as the wine.
And there is so much to talk about - apart from the results. There were numerous achievements to celebrate - and ladies first, this event has gone down as the first Historic rally of any kind that has produced a Ladies crew on the finishing rostrum. Sue Shoosmith and Trina Harley finished the event having hauled their Bentley up the leader board to finish second overall, a quite remarkable achievement. They beat all previous winners of the event, finishing just seven seconds behind the overall winners Jeremy Haylock and Gareth Burnett.
Third place went to David Thomson and Gareth Holding in their Talbot 105. Fourth place went to Alastair Caldwell and Catriona Rings in an Alfa 6C, who were seconds ahead of the 1500cc Riley of Andrew and Jonathan Davies that did well to stay in the top ten for all three days, ending up in joint fifth spot with the Bentley of Paul Carter and John Bayliss.
Mere seconds have been traded by the front-runners for the past few hundred miles of a route that challenged over 100 vintage cars, representing no less than 27 manufacturers with crews from 18 different countries. The finish was televised on Scottish television news bulletins.
There was universal praise for the route.... "Simply the best Flying Scotsman so far, " said Jayne Wignall when she turned off the engine of her Sunbeam for the last time.
Spirit of the Rally went to Jonathan Turner and Robert Coucher in a rare Anzani-engined Squire, which produced cheers sufficient to raise the rafters, and the Against All Odds trophy was awarded to Matthew and Claire Abrey in their Ford Model A. Gregor Fisken and his wife Carolina from Argentina won the Best Presented Crew award.
Over 60 trophies were presented - and after some thought-provoking, and often hilarious speeches, everyone retired for a Night Section in the bar, which is where your Syd Stelvio is off to now....
Positions Swap behind the Leading Talbot on Day Two
Saturday 20 April, Gretna Hall, Gretna Green
A great rallying day took us from Shrigley Hall hotel through the stunning scenery of the Derbyshire Peak District, on over the Yorkshire Dales, and here we are, crossing the Scottish borders for dinner in Gretna Green.
Great driving roads in bright sunshine combined with lots of cheering spectators produced a terrific atmosphere. Clusters of people in bus shelters, laybys and street corners of small mill-towns, up cobble streets and on over moor and dale, the route threaded its way down some of the best rural roads in England.
Today saw two off-road Special Tests, and four Regularity Time Trials, blended with some tightly timed Time Controls sections over the Warcop ranges made it a demanding day. Gareth Burnett and Jeremy Haylock extended their lead to 24 seconds but behind them a real tussle is developing. Catriona Rings navigating the Alfa Romeo 6C of Alastair Caldwell had a good day and arrived beaming as she clocked in, and the results confirmed that she had indeed fought her way up the leader board and the low-slung Alfa is now joint 3rd, up six places, level with David Thomson's Talbot, which slipped down a place from second spot, this position being taken over by Sue Shoosmith's Bentley with Paul Carter dropping to 5th after losing a minute at one of the Warcop Time Controls.
Bill Ainscough and Jason Dearden had a good day, moving up to 16th in their little Frazer Nash, and Geert van de Velde's Lagonda moved up the leader board today to finish in 6th. Sir Gerry Acher in his ex-Peking Paris Aston Martin is up eight places to 34th, Nigel and Paula Broderick had a trouble-free run to end the day on 18th, and David and Sarah Rayner's BMW is now sharing 21st with Martin Hunt's Bentley.
Fred Gallagher dropped down today with an SU fuel pump packing up at crucial intervals. Sweeper-mechanic Andy Inskip says it's been a day of half-shafts, head gaskets and differentials. Neil Corner and Dick Crosswaite retired their Speed Six Bentley with generator issues.
Tomorrow we drive northwards to Gleneagles.
Talbots on Top after Day One
Friday 19 April, Shrigley Hall, Macclesfield
Talbot 105s proved an invincible rally-car in the mid 1930s, scooping numerous awards on the tough European classic events such as the Alpine Rally, and today's action saw a vivid display of just what made the marque such a dependable front-runner.
Best performance of the day was the pea-green Talbot of Gareth Burnett and Jeremy Haylock, in their Talbot 105 Alpine, who after three off-road speed tests, two of them on old RAF airfields, plus a trio of Regularity Time Trials has arrived into our overnight hotel with a four second lead. The car right behind in second spot is a similar Talbot of David Thomson and Gareth Holding, seven seconds ahead of former Flying Scotsman winner Paul Carter's Derby Bentley. Sue Shoosmith and Trina Harley's older Bentley is fourth. Once again we see a Talbot versus Bentley contest. John Abel's Bentley has done well today in equal-fifth, alongside former winner Andrew and Jonathan Davies in their 1500cc Riley. So, a mere handful of seconds split the leaders.
Today has been run over a fabulous route, with just enough spice to provide a warm up for an intense and demanding day ahead. The weather held, the first river crossing, map navigation sections and blasts down sinewy courses laid out at Bruntingthorpe and Darley Moor wartime-airfields came together as an excellent opener.
Jayne Wignall's sunbeam is in 10th spot, the gloriously sounding eight-cylinder Alfa of Peter Livanos with Alex Drouliscos holds 19th, and Fred Gallagher and Neil Oatley in the pretty little Lancia Aprilia are 30th. But with John Ruston at 13th and David Cook at 17th, the day really has been all about the Talbots showing their potential. Nick Jarvis and John Kiff in a Jaguar SS, 7th, and David and Hilary Tomlin, Ford Coupe, on 9th, have had a good day, William Medcalf and Peter Scott a miserable one, their Bentley lunched a gearbox into smithereens after the driver selected reverse while driving forwards at 40 mph.... What is mysterious is how he got this repaired to reach tonight's hotel in time for dinner, a great bit of fettling.
It's been a fun day - Saturday will shake it up on a tough and demanding route across the Scottish border to Gretna Green.
Friday 19 April, Hanbury Manor, Ware
Driving the best part of 1,000 miles, crews from 18 different countries in over 100 Vintage cars set out today from Hanbury Manor, set amid picturesque countryside north of London, near Ware in Hertfordshire. Their target: to reach Scotland in the hope of bagging a trophy or two at a grand prize-giving dinner at Gleneagles in three days time. The first day is meant to be simple. Push on north over remote roads to end up in Macclesfield a little west of the Derbyshire Peak District.
However, driving open cars relying on drum brakes, or no front brakes at all, and skating down country-lanes on cross-ply tyres, with a rival ahead making smoke, is nothing but challenging when the Organisers' clocks are ticking against you.
Field marshal Bob Redhead was away at first light, checking that his vast army of 500 volunteer marshals are all in place. He has checkpoints galore and off-road timed tests between here and the Scottish borders all under control.
The sumptuous surroundings of Hanbury Manor were shaken to the foundations this morning as the symphony orchestra started up, it's a rare sound indeed and a stirring sight when two Alfa Romeo 8Cs fire into life as an opening duet, quickly joined by the baritone bassoons of a back row of Bentleys, Talbots on percussion, and above all the racket,the sound of a smaller agile Riley, elbowing in above the cacophony on piccolo.
The Dutch Squad were in fine form over the excellent dinner last night, and while most opted for an early night, including novice navigator Robert Coucher, who retired early to mug up on essential bedtime reading with a copy of Alan Smith's book, How To Win A Marathon Rally, it was the Dutch who managed to keep the bar open until the early hours. Endurance rallying started with a night section - who can consume the most, and Coucher complains they were far too noisy.... but look at it like this, when you have a few hundred miles on Day One behind scarf and goggles, a clear head before the mid-morning coffee stop is surely guaranteed.
Will everyone make it to the first night halt? Will over 100 vintage cars all drive into Macclesfield? Unlikely.... but it will be a great day trying.