“Welcome to the thirty-eighth running of the ‘One and Only’ Preston, sponsored as always by Preston’s Garages Ltd of Writtle, Chelmsford, Essex. In keeping with the last 18 years, this year we will once again be supporting the East Anglian Air Ambulance charity.
Following the generous and positive comments from the last four years we will ‘tinker’ with the route format using the continued approach of evolution not revolution. The format will not be significantly different although it will be improved based on the competitor feedback received from last year’s event. The route will be reduced in mileage to allow more make-up time at petrol halts, there will also be more make-up time between sections, this will ensure that other than mechanical failure all crews should stay within overall time limits. We are also aware that some may think the Preston is too rough although we know others disagree. This year we would like to maintain a better balance but it is important to note that with the changing tracks due to weather and farm use, a smooth track on set up on the Friday can prove to be quite different on the night, Berners Heath last year is a good example. We would assure crews who may be undecided that we are trying really hard to create an event that will appeal to all. The current organising team have used the learning experience from the past 9 years to hopefully try and run the ‘perfect’ event. Perhaps impossible considering all the aspects that could affect the event but the nonetheless it is still our objective. The team have been very busy over the past few months seeking new land to use. We are hopeful of securing some new route in preparation for the 2016 event which should see a return of a Preston favourite, albeit one that has seen the demise of many a competitor’s car over the past few years.
As usual ‘The Preston’ will start from the East of England Ambulance workshops on the A11 at Barton Mills and as last year we will finish at Elveden Estate restaurant. The Elveden Estate is one of our main supporting landowners so it will be good to return some ‘income’ for their support for the traditional full English breakfast. Trailer parking will be available at the finish venue. In keeping with other Chelmsford events, this year’s entry fee includes one free ‘on event’ photograph courtesy of Andy Manston (M&H Photography).
The route itself will continue to be challenging, with the accurate timing used in previous years. There will be the occasional horrendously overgrown narrow bits, numerous bumps, yumps and thumps, puddles you can lose a car in and the infamous Preston mud! Notwithstanding the dry summer unless it is frosty, mud is guaranteed. As the saying goes, it is only depth that varies. Furthermore, all this will be within a twenty-mile radius of Elveden, Suffolk, around 180 miles in total with 2 petrol halts. Currently there will be around 20 sections with the ‘mileage that counts’ amounting to approximately 120 miles and as ever about 90% of that will be un-surfaced.
The Preston is a ‘navigational rally’ and as such the navigator will have a significant role. To aid navigators we will once again provide relevant maps in A4 size. As always you are all advised to prepare yourselves and your cars in the traditional ‘Preston way’. Regulars will know what this means. If you are new to the Preston, everything that you’ve heard, and more, is true! We require that all entrants carefully read and fully understand these Supplementary Regulations, especially SR 8 (concerning entries). Get your entries in quickly as they are sure to be in great demand as usual. Please note that Final Instructions will be published on the CMC website only, and not sent by post.
With recent change that has removed the need to display tax discs, it is your responsibility to ensure that the vehicle is taxed and MoT’d if applicable. We will not be undertaking internet checks to confirm this.
Competitors are reminded to read the instructions especially in relation to the use of ‘Headsets’; we will need to see your MSA approval for the current year. In the recent years we have received reports of one or more competitors using a ‘chase car and/or external service crew’. We would hope this rumour is unfounded but just in case, anyone caught using the services of a chase car or receiving external service support will be excluded. This is not in the spirit of this event and the organising team are very mindful to keep this event within the rules of a navigational road rally.
As always we need many marshals, so if you cannot compete, please register as a marshal using the link on the right hand side column of the website under ‘Marshalling Events’ or contact Luis Gutierrez Diaz or Richard Milbank, their contact details are given later in these regulations. Marshalling is a vital role for any event, but the Preston requires about 100, so you will be very welcome and very much appreciated. Those of you intending to enter, please try hard to get some friends to marshal.
Whatever your role, we look forward to welcoming you all on the big night!
Please note, the current team are committed to running this event until its 40th anniversary, we really do need continued support in the form of entries to achieve this milestone.”