[S]uperb weather greeted the competitors in the third round of the Wigton Motor Club Gates/Protyre Historic Rally Championship as they arrived at the event start at the Penrith Truckstop, this enabled many of the crews to do their route plotting and map work outside.
The first test was at the Truckstop and the crews then headed out into the Eden District for another thirteen tests, split by a lunch halt back at Penrith.
Entries came from all over the north of England and Scotland, the furthest travelled being Jim Hendry from Fife on his 1956 Triumph TR2. The Targa Rally included more modern standard road cars and is an ideal way of getting into competitive motorsport. The entry fee for the event including food for the day for two people was just £100
The tests were made up of cars parks, private roads, forest tracks and other non-damaging venues within a 20-mile radius of Penrith. With the very dry weather dust was a problem on some of the tests – a rare happening in Cumbria!
Initially it was Minis to the fore with Graeme Cornthwaite leading from Peter Tyson, but Graeme had an engine problem and retired and on the longer tests the Escort RS of Dave Short and Roy Heath powered into the lead and were never headed. The Mini Cooper of Peter Tyson/Neil Harrison took a good second with third going to the Escort of Dave Marsden and Mike Garstang.
Class wins went to Peter Metcalfe/Ian Marsden in the Mini, John and Marian Sloan (MG Midget), Simon Boardman/Matthew Broadbent (Volvo 131); Malcolm and Kathryn Mackay (Mini 1275GT), Mike Kirk/Martin Oates (Escort RS2000) and Brian Bradley/Michael Marsland (VW Golf).
The Targa rally saw a run away win for Paul and Esther Bowness (Mazda MX5); from the Peugeot 309 of Daniel Place Ryan Parker with Chris Hunter/Fiona Tyson in third in another MX5.
Class wins in the Targa Rally went to Peter Wright/Craig Stamper (Mini Cooper) and Jon Lawson/Richard Todd in a VW Polo.
The next round of the Gates/Protyre Historic Rally Championship is the Northern Dales in a couple of weeks’ time. Wigton MC’s next major event is the Cumbria Classic Weekend on August 18/19th.