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Tour of Flanders - 12-13 Sep 09

Posted: September 14, 2009 2:52 PM - 6620 Hits

Round 7 - 2009 MSA British Historic Rally Championship

BHRC report, round seven: Historic Tour of Flanders

Posted: September 14, 2009 2:52 PM

While several leading crews focussed on the battle for the overall title, Steven Smith and Phil Spurge had no such concerns and duly won round seven of the Dunlop/Gambia MSA British Historic Rally Championship, the Historic Tour of Flanders (11-13 September).

The Porsche 911RS won category two, while Darren Moon and Chris Parsons had an impressive run in their Escort Mk2 to win category three. In category one, another victory for Dessie Nutt and Geraldine McBride (Porsche 911) sets up a championship cliff-hanger with David Stokes and Guy Weaver (Escort Mk1) for the final event of the season.

Category 1
With championship scores uppermost in their minds, Nutt and McBride knew they had to be quick and safe, and that was the story of their rally. The Tuthill-tended Porsche 911 never missed a beat as they swept clear during a long tough Saturday leg in the lanes around Roeselare.
In fact, the only real worry of the day was when one of Dessie's contact lenses slipped out of position and left him struggling for vision. With that little issue fixed for Sunday's shorter leg, it was back to business as usual for a resounding category victory.
However, they could never relax too much as Rikki Proffitt and Bob Duck – a late stand-in co-driver – had a fine run in their Porsche 911. "This is my first special stage event in Europe," admitted Rikki, who loved every minute of driving the Porsche in Belgium.
Third in category one and victory in class B1 went to Gary and Jane Edgington in what was sometimes a challenging event in the Singer Chamois. Their biggest problem was a persistent misfire that hung around all day Saturday, but they came through smiling to give the little car another monster result. "Today's been good," said Gary at the finish on Sunday, relieved to finally have the car running cleanly.
They finished well clear of class B1 rivals Peter Horsburgh and Graham Carter who made a welcome appearance in their Mini Cooper. "I'm a bit rusty," said Horsburgh on his first BHRC event for over a year. They nose-dived into a field on Saturday but some willing spectators got them going again.

Category 2
Smith and Spurge bagged the lead of category two on the opening Beveren stage on Friday evening. Despite Spurge being new to Belgium, they stayed ahead throughout and their only scare came at the end of the third Izegem stage on Saturday with a high-speed spin. Somehow they avoided the ditches, but it was a big moment to end the day. Some rain on Sunday morning did no harm to their chances and they reeled off Sunday's eight stages to take a resounding victory. "We loved it; fantastic fun," said Smith.
Always leading the chase of Smith was the Escort of Stokes/Weaver and they bagged six stage wins on their way to second in category two and victory in class C5. Their biggest problem came late on Sunday when a clutch problem made going down the gearbox very difficult, and Stokes had to cut his pace accordingly.
Into an excellent third in category two came the Porsche 911 of Peter Smith/Russ Langthorne, who started the event battling with the similar cars of Peter Lythell/Gill Cotton and Derek Boyd/Maurice Beckett. However, a ditch claimed Lythell and a broken gearbox put Boyd out, so Smith was away and clear in second. "This is the second event that I've not damaged the car, so that's progress," said the Yorkshireman.
With Ernie Graham/Andy Greenland out with engine dramas and Rupert Lomax/David Alcock down the order after going off three times on Saturday, fourth in category two was fought over by the top C3 runners. After a mighty battle, Andrew Siddall and Captain Thompson scored a famous victory in their Escort Mk1 after overhauling Ken Forster/John Stanger-Leathes on Sunday.
"It's great to win C3 at last," said Siddall after a superb performance, which left them 20s ahead of Forster/Stanger-Leathes at the finish after being almost level overnight. Drew Wylie and Howard Pridmore were back in third as Wylie rallied in Flanders for the first time.
Ahead of Wylie in the final category two placings was the C2 winning Escort Mk1 of Vincent Bristow and Keith Fellowes. "No problems at all today," said Bristow, who had lost all his brakes on the opening loop on Saturday. "I wanted to be top six overall in the category," he said after achieving his target.

Category 3
Right from the start of the rally, Moon and Parsons stamped their authority on category three and built their lead to 2m40s by the conclusion of a tremendous run, on only Moon's second visit to Flanders. Their major concern was a clutch problem that developed late on Saturday, but the service crew sorted that over two visits to service and Moon was able to continue his excellent pace through Sunday, when he finished the rally with four stage wins on the trot. "Fantastic," was how he summed up the weekend, before adding his thanks to his service crew.
Second in the category was a good result for Will Onions and Tim Hobbs in their Escort Mk2. They lost first gear on Saturday, but a spare gearbox on loan from Mark Solloway had them running strongly once more to finish nearly two minutes up on team mates Guy Woodcock and Iwan Jones. Woodcock again bagged D3 spoils, but was kept on his toes by a strong run from Richard Lane and Frank Richer (Escort Mk2). "That's the first finish in four attempts at this rally," said a delighted Lane, who closed in on Woodcock towards the finish as the leader's clutch wilted.
Phil and Mick Squires had a good run and steadily upped their pace to take third in D5, while the battle for D4 was an all-Porsche affair as Richard Tuthill and Calvin Cooledge got their thundering 928 to a debut finish ahead of the 911 of Mike Anderson/Alan Brown.
Finally, a great performance on their first asphalt event netted D2 victory for the Escort Mk2 of Jacob Scannell/Nina Thompson. "We've done it! Absolutely brilliant," said Scannell at the finish.

The BHRC action concludes with round eight, the Trackrod Historic Cup, on 26 September.


Posted: September 14, 2009 2:44 PM

Keep track of the 50th Omloop van Vlaanderen, live on Radio I.R.O.

Posted: September 6, 2009 4:21 PM

BHRC preview, round seven: Historic Tour of Flanders

Posted: September 4, 2009 8:51 PM

Belgium is the next destination for contenders in the Dunlop/Gambia MSA British Historic Rally Championship and the penultimate event of the season, the Historic Tour of Flanders (11-13 September).
The third and final asphalt event of the season runs on the roads around the host town of Roeselare, which provide a unique challenge for the crews.

  Category 1
Heading the small category one field of pre '68 cars will be the Porsche 911 of Dessie Nutt and Geraldine McBride and this is a very important event for the Irish crew. They are the only remaining BHRC contenders with the potential to take a maximum championship score, providing they win category one in Belgium and in Yorkshire at the end of September. So, Nutt will be setting a quick but safe pace in Belgium as they bid to repeat their 2004 overall title.
Ranged against Nutt/McBride, and capable of giving them a real challenge, is the similar car of Rikki Proffitt/Phill Harrison, which will be having only its second BHRC outing.
Among the smaller capacity cars, it is the Singer Chamois of Gary and Jane Edgington that is likely to shine on the slippery asphalt. Aiming to chase the Edgingtons will be Mike Barratt and Jody Watson in their Sunbeam Stiletto. Initially Barratt had planned to run his Mini Cooper, but that car is not ready following it's Isle of Man accident and so he is reverting to the Sunbeam for the Belgian trip.  

Category 2
Category two is for the cars from 1968 to 1974, and it is David Stokes and Guy Weaver who are chasing the overall title in their Ford Escort Mk1. They are now the major challengers to Nutt/McBride in overall terms and need a maximum score in Belgium to maintain their title bid. Their 2008 visit to Flanders ended with a major accident after a steering failure, so they will be keen to have a clear run this time around.
However, the car that could set the ultimate pace in category two is the Porsche 911RS of Steven Smith and Phil Spurge, on only Smith's second rally of the year.
Stokes has plenty of other opposition, too, including the Escorts of Rupert Lomax/David Alcock and Ernie Graham/tba. Meanwhile, a tremendous Porsche entry also includes Derek Boyd/Maurice Beckett, Peter Lythell/Gill Cotton and Peter Smith/Russ Langthorne.
Class C3 for the Pinto-powered Escorts will feature another mighty contest as Drew Wylie and Howard Pridmore take on Ken Forster/John Stanger-Leathes and Andrew Siddall/Captain Thompson.
Meanwhile, Vince Bristow/Keith Fellowes and Matt Fowle/Robert Cook will battle for class C2 in their 1600cc Escorts.  

Category 3
Category three is for the most recent cars up to 1981 and this one is very open heading for Belgium as a gaggle of Escorts and Porsches top the field.
Among the quickest Escorts will be Darren Moon/Chris Parsons, Will Onions/Tim Hobbs and brothers Phil and Mick Squires. However, none of them are Belgian experts, so it could be a Porsche at the top of the category. In the Porsche camp are category three 911s for Adrian Kermode/Liz Jordan and Mike Anderson/Alan Brown, while an entry for Richard Tuthill/Calvin Cooledge could really shake up the order.
An excellent entry of Escort Mk2s in class D3 promises a fine battle, with Guy Woodcock/Iwan Jones sure to be to the head of the action. But there is strong opposition to come from Mark Clifford/Graham Wild, Chris Shooter/Ben LeGood and Derek Belbin/Steve Dargan. Finally, in class D2, Flanders newcomers Jakob Scannell and Nina Thompson (Escort Mk2) take on the Sunbeam Ti of Pat Anderson and Tom Mansfield.  

The Historic Tour Flanders is organised by the Autoclub Midden Vlaanderen.

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Posted: September 1, 2009 6:52 PM

Harri Rovanperä to compete on Historic Rally

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50th edition of the Omloop Van Vlaanderen

Posted: July 21, 2009 8:25 PM

It all started Nov 9th 1959 ... Autoclub Midden Vlaanderen was founded by thirteen men who first gathered in a small and smoky room at Park Rodenbach in Roeselare. Their goal was to promote autosport and autotourism in Flanders. Less then one year later, the first Omloop Van Vlaanderen took place in Roeselare, a national regularitytest for cars (this was the official name back then) consisting of 2 time trials of 1,2 km in Ardooie.

On September 11th, 12th and 13th of 2009 we will host the 50th edition and to celebrate the occasion, a special task force was founded and they put in a lot of hard work these last few months. Last weekend, the official opening of the Batjes gave spectators a preview on the Grote Markt of Roeselare. On the BMW showcase stand, people could watch and enjoy numerous pictures and images of the history of AMV. For the jubilee, a special newspaper was printed and distributed as an extra with the Weekbode for the inhabitants of Roeselare. A few thousand extra copies will be distributed during the rally.

Last night, the opening of the special exhibition"50 years AMV" took place in the entrance of city hall in Roeselare. Starting from today, people can come and take a look during opening hours of city hall at Stadhuis, Botermarkt 2 in Roeselare.
Secretary of Sport, José Debels, welcomed the AMV, spectators and members of the press with the following speech: "Roeselare, city of sport in the centre of West-Vlaanderen, is a vibrant ctiy where lots of associations and clubs have their home. Automobielclub Midden Vlaanderen is one of these clubs, an association that always draws a lot of spectators with the international rally the Omloop Van Vlaanderen. These spectators also visit the city and that alone is enough for us to support this organisation in their activities. A lot of restaurants and pubs thrive during the rally and most hotels are fully booked the week before the rally. Sometimes, inhabitants ask us the bring the rally HQ back to the city centre where the rally formerly took place, but as the Omloop Van Vlaanderen grew during the years, it was necessary to move rally HQ to the Expohallen at Schiervelde in 1989."

AMV President Marc Maesen thanked the city for the support, the AMV members and especially the members of the task force for setting up the exhibition: "The exhibition will stay in city hall till the end of July, and I invite everyone to go and take a look. It also gives me great pleasure to announce that for the 50th edition of the Omloop Van Vlaanderen, the rally HQ will return to the city centre for once. The first day, the rally teams will have to clock in on the Grote Markt and passing by the Ooststraat, the overnight halt will be held on and around the POLENPLEIN. On Saturday morning, all the teams will depart for leg 2 in front of the city hall."
Speaking of a scoop!

What else can we expect for the 2009 edition?
The organizers have their heart set on making the 50th edition one to remember. We can already tell you the rally will start on ... Friday night with a showstage of 15 km on the special stage of Beveren. A lot of effort will be put in to make this opening stage very attractive for spectators. There will be a large spectator area with a speaker, animation, drink- and foodstands and both the start and the finish of the stage will be visible from there. The cars will pass the spectator area 3 times, starting in reverse order. The slowest historic car will start first right up to the numéro uno Historic, followed by the modern cars in numerical order.

Event Website / Details

Posted: January 1, 2009 12:01 AM

Topics: BHRC  Tour of Flanders 

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