Top honours this year goes to Martin Payne and Alan Ogden (20:34) in the entirely suitable Audi 100 quattro. Many comments were made that the well prepared car seemed to glide over the rough stuff and the 4 wheel drive certainly helped in the slippery conditions but this takes nothing away from the ability of the crew who came 2nd last year. Some comment was also made of the standard seats giving a much more comfortable ride than the competition type. Following fairly closely (considering the conditions) were Ian Mepham and Dave Howe (27:56) in their VW Golf GTI and Pete Gabbatiss with Andrew Hughs (32:05) in the Toyota Corolla.
Top semi-experts (and 46 seconds outside a top 5 finish) was the rear engine Hillman Imp of Owen Turner and Andrew Dadswell (44:46). First novice crew (and 4 seconds outside the top 10) were Paul Culverwell and David Hyden (01:22:35). Best CMC crew were Dean Clayton and Craig Marven (01:29:20) proving that to finish first, first you must finish as top seeded CMC crew (Richard McLachlan / Paul Barrett) showed much early promise. The team award goes to the only team to finish with 3 cars - but what a finish - 1st, 3rd and 4th! Spirit of the rally goes to Chris Holliday for his super human efforts in preparing some areas of the course (with a spade) on the day of the rally.
The awards are:
1st Overall Martin Payne Alan Ogden
1st Exp Ian Mepham Dave Howe
2nd Exp Pete Gabbatiss Andrew Hughs
3rd Exp Martin Self Martin Smith
1st S/E Owen Turner Andrew Dadswell
2nd S/E Graham Child Kevin Ablitt
3rd S/E Dean Clayton Craig Marven
1st Nov Paul Culverwell David Hyden
2nd Nov Ian Perry Ian Orford
3rd Nov Joe Ivey Adam Boreham
Team Cars, 2, 3 and 8 High Peak & 061 MC
Best CMC: Dean Clayton Craig Marven
Spirit of the rally: Chris Holliday
The organising team hopes you all enjoyed this year's event and will join us in thanking all the marshals, start/finish/halfway staff and the many recovery crews who did an excellent job of keeping you going in the muddy conditions. At this early stage we estimate we will be able to make a donation to the East Anglian Air Ambulance of several hundred pounds and hope to use the same start venue next year. The comment forms were almost all filled in the Good or Excellent boxes except for a few crews who marked down the whites, half way halt, timing and on event results service. The condition of the whites had deteriorated in the final weeks leading up to the event with all the rain and farm traffic. Due to the last minute changes and shortening of the route the results crew found less time to enter the time cards and so had to do these mostly at the finish (we hope these comprehensive results compensate). As ever, please contact one of the organising team if you have any suggestions for next year's event.