After letting Jim down on the Breidden Rally due to a family illness we decided to do the Dansport. Back on the lanes of maps 118 and 119 for the first time after at least 10 years!! The weeks up to the rally I was looking back at old routes I had from years gone by; and also the odd marked map I had of the area!
I started from Ruthin at 4pm onto Chapel En Le Frith to meet Jim at a pub car park. Going well listening to James Blunt! Until coming off the M60 at the wrong junction costing me 20 minutes – but that is another story!! Teamed up with Jim then onto Chesterfield to collect the Proton. Had a good chat with Jim on the way who I remembered from the 80’s when he had the ‘Newlord Motors Escort’, a tidy motor which is still around in a garage in North Wales!! Arrived in Chesterfield in plenty of time. Seven pm start fantastic! Not like Wales which is 5pm!
Noise etc. Went OK then signed on then plotted the neutral sections. Liked the format of the timecards which is totally different in Wales. Relaxed before the start and had a good chat with Geoff Goodwin who I did the Llyn rally 20 years previously!!!
Left the start with the handouts then onto the Perez estate; a very good test – fast and flowing – enjoyed very much!! Onto the quarry to plot the tulips onto the map. Found this a bit tough at the start but got into it at the end – tips needed please if anyone is interested! Did the first section ok which was a good mixture of whites and lanes. Second section was using long straight yellows with a good white at the end. The next two sections before petrol were below Buxton and these had FOG!! Mega FOG!!
Went into petrol in one piece! Left petrol enjoying the local ladies coming from the pubs! Headed onto map 118 then back onto 119 with more fog!! Lost a lot of time at one control, compared with other people not sure why? Enjoyed the ‘tunnel’ section which was more like home! By the end of the night I think Jim got a bit more confident with me and we had the second best time on the last section. Got to the finish and got 14th overall which was ok but I would have been pleased with a top 10.
Thank you Matlock MC for a mega rally!! Well done indeed. Will be back for more!! Thank to Jim Brown for the run and Max Freeman and Stewart Merry prior to the rally. See you on the lanes!
Roger Evans, Navigator – Car 24, Proton Coupe – Bala MC
Thanks to M&H Photography (www.mandh-photography.co.uk) for all of the photos! Head over to their website for more photos and for contact details to buy yourself a copy!