In only its third year of running, not many events can claim to fill up an entry list as quickly as the Vale of Clwyd Classic Rally. Saying that, it’s hardly surprising when the organising team has it roots so entrenched in Classic Rallying and therefore knows exactly what competitors want. Guy Woodcock recently partnered Charles Colton in his 1965 Porsche 911 and fought through and ambush of Sunbeam tigers to take first spot on the 25th Pirelli Classic Marathon.
The entry list is superb, with reserves spilling over the already 75 strong field, Colton is there partnered by Ryan Pickering, Dermot Carnegie once again guided by Paul Bosdet will be trying to make this a repeat of last years win, look further into the field and it’s obvious that this will be a hard fought battle for whoever wins, Proffitt, Bloxham, Fennell and Baty are some of the names that jump out driver wise. Tullie, Savage, Hargreaves, Woodman and Bestwick in the line up of pure quality navigators that any driver would give their arm for.
The start and finish venue is in the picturesque village of Llanferres, centred around the famous Druid Inn where competitors will be treated to fine food and drinks after the event. From The Druid, cars will start on their way with a test nearby to the start en route to the first properly competitive sections in the Ruthin area, several tests are planned here, with longer ones comprising of two tests looped together. Navigation will be fairly straightforward, with usual route instructions, and none plot hand outs to keep the navigators on their toes. The afternoon is where the quality of the events roads and organisation will shine, and without wanting to say too much, it is mouth watering! Guy was obviously brimming with enthusiasm as he described the tests and regularities from morning to afternoon and has a real ace up his sleeve to determine the winner. Crews are expected back at The Druid around 16:45.
One thing puzzled me about this event, why it’s popularity? Guy explained that from his past experience in road rallying, and being part of the organising team that put on the superb Farrington event for ten years, it was time to go historic. Spending hours cleaning up after spectators had left, the PR issues and problems that go with such a full on event had taken its toll. As he was now finding himself spending more time in Historics, it was a natural progression to branch out into the organisation of such an event. Living local to the Clwyd’s area, he knew the roads well and saw their potential. The format of the event is classic, yet somehow it continues to evolve and stays fresh, it challenges both driver and navigator, the quality and depth of the field shows that.
Clwyd Vale MC now find they are being asked to expand the event, not into a full two dayer, but to include some evening sections as well. What could be more exciting than seeing these beautiful machines in the dark, the smell of hot mud and grass, the sight of their auxiliary lights sweeping the sky as they contest a night time test and regularity? It’s something that their team is thinking about, and for the future, the event won’t be changing too much.
It’s great to see an event fill up in three weeks, recently some other well run events have received the same accolade and filled their boots early. This is different, an international field in a one day event? No I’m not talking crews from Scotland and England competing in Wales, but competitors from Ireland and Norway too!
The Vale of Clwyd is in its infancy as such, but hopefully it will continue to grow as it is in terms of popularity and the obvious enthusiasm which it is promoted by Guy Woodccock and Clwyd Vale MC, the event does need marshals, so please, if you find the idea of civilised motorsport interesting and watching rare and exotic machinery exciting, this is the event for you, email [email protected] if you can help out or want to know more about the event.
Top ten seeded entries.
1. Dermot Carnegie (Clwyd Vale MC) & Paul Bosdet (Morecombe CC), 1971 Ford Escort RS2000 Mk1
2. Howard Warren (HRCR) & Iain Tullie (Ilkley & DMC / HRCR), 1965 Porsche 911 Coupe
3. Jon Wood (HRCR / ANWCC) & Mark Appleton (HRCR), 1966 Morris Mini Cooper
4. Matt Warren (HRCR) & Cath Woodman (CSMA / HRCR), 1973 Ford Escort
5. John Ruddock (York / Ilkley / HRCR) & David Taylor (Ilkley / Ripon / HRCR), 1972 Ford Escort Mexico
6. Ronnie Griffin (TDC / HRCR) & Anthony Preston (HRCR), 1968 Mini Cooper S
7. Andrew Mallagh (HRCR) & Paul Harley (HRCR), 1966 Porsche 911
8. Frank Fennell (HRCR / TDC) & Kevin Savage (HRCR / Kirby Lonsdale), 1964 Alfa Romeo Giulia Super
9. Roger Powley (CVMC / Chester MC / HRCR / ANWCC) & Leigh Powley (HRCR / ANWCC), 1972 Porsche 911 Coupe
10. Charles Colton (Clwyd Vale MC) & Ryan Pickering (HRCR), 1965 Porsche 911
Thanks to Guy Woodcock for his time in helping with this preview.