The Preston

The Preston - 1st/2nd December 2018
Sponsored by Preston's Garages of Writtle.


Winners of the 2018 Preston: Owen Turner / Andy Ballantyne

Full PDF results

Online Results

  • Final Instructions
  • Supplementary Regulations
  • Entry Form
  • Update Entry
  • Entry List
  • ***OFFICIAL POST EVENT BRIEFING No 3 - Competitors***
    Everything I have said to marshals and event officials, helpers etc equally applies to all competitors.

    When Adrian Gladwin said that David Taylor had suggested that I would be an ideal candidate to replace him as event Clerk of Course, I was not convinced at all. In fact in the months leading up to my first Preston I was starting to regret the decision the amount of work and also a bit a self doubt in my own ability.

    Feedback after that first year was a real confidence booster. I then made a the biggest signing in the world, Bob Blows, first as Secretary and in more recent years as Deputy Clerk of Course. I could not have organised 12 years without Bob.
    But the main driver, and pretty sure for my team, the wider team and also all our marshals is you, the amazing competitors.

    You travel from all over the country, prepared to be up to your knees in mud and that lovely smelling Norfolk countryside!, prepared to have to trailer a broken car home if necessary all with the goal of completing the Preston. One thing out of many that has hit me is that winning is not the motivation for most of you, but the taking part is.

    The 'Preston' is more than a rally to me it an elite club of people who come from all over to share and participate in this one challenge, to tame the Preston.

    In 12 years I feel I have made a lot of good friends who I will miss seeing on the annual pilgrimage to Thetford. You have been very forgiving when things did not go quite right in the early years but your positive support and encouragement gave Bob and I the impetus to do more and more and make this the Preston it is today. Unfortunately the has come at great personal expense for Bob and I. The pressure we applied to ourselves this year to achieve perfection was a step too far and the enjoyment was going making it more like a job. Bob is moving to the West Country so the time is now right to stop. Someone may still step into the breach but we have spent three years looking.

    For myself, a year off from organising and I will get the Mexico back out doing something during 2019. As for 2020, well who knows.

    So to all Preston competitors, past and present thank you for your personal support and encouragement, have a great Christmas and successful 2019.

    Regards
    Brian Jaggs (Preston Clerk of Course)

    *** OFFICIAL POST EVENT THANKYOU No2 ***
    On behalf of Chelmsford Motor Club and the organising team in particular, may I take this opportunity to personally thank you for your officiating role/responsibilities/help on the 2018 fortieth running of the ‘One and Only’ Preston Rally.

    The overwhelming positive response from competitors reinforces the outstanding commitment you made once more. Over the past 12 years, there have a been a number of outstanding ‘Preston’s’ but solely based on personal feedback this years’ may rank up there as one, if not the, best. This is a major feat considering the heavy rain we had during the night turned many of the tracks into a quagmire and a significant challenge for our two-wheel drive cars to negotiate. For some, the deeper mud and water filled holes was a bit too much, but the majority of cars managed to successfully negotiate without get stuck or suffering mechanical failure. It was this challenge that drivers and navigators say makes the ‘Preston’ what it is renowned for and what they really enjoy. Even those that got stuck and had to be towed or pushed out have still favourably commented on the overall event.

    I will formally thank the main organising team in person in our post event de-brief, visit or write to all our landowners and I have already thanked all our glorious marshals but this is not quite the entire picture. There is an army our additional helpers who fulfill roles that result in the accolades that the Preston Rally receives.

    This list is not in priority order but is an impressive list!
    PR crews managed by PR Officer Gordon Milbank
    Setup crews (15 in total)
    Scrutineering and Noise team managed by Chief Scrutineer Mark Barham
    Competitors signing on team Colin and Ellen Sutton
    Rescue crews, how busy they were on the night? Well placed and superbly managed by Dan Wheatley
    DSO’s Gordon Milbank, William Collins, Brian Milbank, Chris Holliday
    Stewards, Mike Biss, Ian Mepham, Dave Thompson
    Official Photographer the ‘One and Only’ Andy Manston
    Competitor Liaison Office – Gordon Popperwell
    Gate Opening cars Haydn Glenn, Neal Allsopp, Simon Howlett, Bradley Howlett
    Course cars Lucy Fryer (with Chief Marshal), Tony Vanderheide (with Asst Chief Marshal) Justin Smith (with Event Secretary)
    Results Service
    Closing Cars Vince Hawtree, Jim Bowie, Peter Brewerton, Paul Brewerton
    Recovery Crews Phil and Tom Clack, Chris Maddocks, Steve Chris Maddocks
    Equipment and Equipment Recovery Crews Geoff Lobb, Gary Maddocks, Tony Burchnall, John Conboy, Simon Howlett, Bradley Howlett

    Without any doubt, each and every person involved in one of more of the above activities played a critical role in the success of this years Preston. You all knew what to do, where and by when. As event CoC you may not appreciate how comforting this is when you quietly get on with do what you do so well, no drama’s no issues, solutions and not problems, I could not have organised one Preston, let alone 12 without your support, commitment, knowledge and dedication that has enabled the Preston to run so seamlessly for our competitors. Overall this was an outstanding achievement, far more than I could have expected and one for which I am truly appreciative.

    Without your help, co-operation and support this event would not run nor would we have raised funds for the East Anglian Air Ambulance charity. This year we will hopefully exceed the £2000 we raised in 2017 and greatly help towards our target of £25k raised in 15 years. I hope you will agree this will be for a very worthy cause.

    As you are aware, this was Bob and my last Preston but we do hope to see you supporting other Chelmsford events or your club organised events throughout the year.
    Finally, I would also like to take this opportunity to wish you and your family a very Happy Christmas and a successful and prosperous 2018.

    Yours sincerely
    Brian A Jaggs
    ‘The Preston’ Clerk of Course on behalf of the Organising Team

    *** OFFICIAL POST EVENT THANK YOU ***
    On behalf of Chelmsford Motor Club and the organising team in particular, may I take this opportunity to personally thank you for marshalling on the 2018 fortieth running of the ‘One and Only’ Preston Rally.

    The overwhelming positive response from competitors reinforces the outstanding commitment you made once more. Over the past 12 years, there have a been a number of outstanding ‘Preston’s’ but solely based on personal feedback this years’ may rank up there as one, if not the, best. This is a major feat considering the heavy rain we had during the night turned many of the tracks into a quagmire and a significant challenge for our two-wheel drive cars to negotiate. For some, the deeper mud and water filled holes was a bit too much, but the majority of cars managed to successfully negotiate without get stuck or suffering mechanical failure. It was this challenge that drivers and navigators say makes the ‘Preston’ what it is renowned for and what they really enjoy. Even those that got stuck and had to be towed or pushed out have still favourably commented on the overall event.

    The 3 hours of pouring rain which you had to endure did not dampen your enthusiasm to get the job done. Seeing a soaking wet marshal struggling with wet handouts from the comparative warmth and protection of the car is quite humbling. Thank you.

    As I drove round, I was so pleased to see every control manned and in the right location. This was especially noticeable for those that I re-deployed on the day following the loss of Elveden, bar a couple of route check boards to accommodate easier access, everybody was in place by the time we arrived as car 0.

    I was also that you were so knowledgeable about your role, the different sorts of controls, working the clocks and advising crews about entering quiet zones, cleaning lights etc. This was a first and reflects your own commitment to help make sure the Preston runs seamlessly for our competitors. Overall this was an outstanding achievement, far more than I could have expected and one for which I am truly appreciative.

    If I did not thank you on the night, then sincere apologies but you really are the best and I am sure your involvement helps show to the rest of the country what a great event the 2018 ‘Preston’ was.
    Without your help, co-operation and support this event would not run nor would we have raised funds for the East Anglian Air Ambulance charity. This year we will hopefully exceed the £2000 we raised in 2017 and greatly help towards our target of £25k raised in 15 years. I hope you will agree this will be for a very worthy cause.

    As you are aware, this was Bob and my last Preston but we do hope to see you supporting other Chelmsford events or your club organised events throughout the year.

    Finally, I would also like to take this opportunity to wish you and your family a very Happy Christmas and a successful and prosperous 2018.

    Yours sincerely

    Brian A Jaggs
    ‘The Preston’ Clerk of Course on behalf of the Organising Team

    PS: How many Derbyshire Christmas decorated controls were there, must have been in double figures.

    Competitors

    ***OFFICIAL BRIEFING 6 ***
    You will shortly see event seeding, if you are not happy with your seeding, you can swap with a reserve? In the whole of the event organisation this is the most difficult and unpopular task to please. If we were basing results solely on Preston Rally performance based on first 7 sections completed over the past 5 years it would be easy. Trying to seed results from stage, targa and conventional public road only road events is a nightmare, they do not easily translate to the Preston so we have to try our best. If you are not happy please do not post on here, also please do not phone me or any other organiser.
    As an aside, we have recce's every section in past two weekends, out of 22 sections, 20 have had to be amended, this has required lots for Bob and myself as it affects route mileage/timing, marshal locations and in once instance MSA route change. We expect this to happen but this year the number of changes has been unprecedented. We will get there hence why we do not need to be distracted please.

    *** OFFICIAL BRIEFING No 5 - START RESTAURANT *** As you know the Start is at Snetterton Circuit. We will arrive late afternoon as those on a track day start wrapping up. Normally Tyrells Restaurant would be closing around 5pm but they will stay open for us until 8pm..There is no other catering on site or nearby so to help the restaurant manager with how much hot food they need to have available could you give some indication of numbers on Facebook please. This will help ensure food is ready prompt but they do not cook too much for it then to go to waste. Hot and cold drinks will be available as it is all machines, so only numbers for food please. Thanks

    *** OFFICIAL BRIEFING No 4 ***
    Route is now pretty much sorted. There will be some fine tuning as we have come to expect some landowners changing their cropping plans at short notice but we have other land options as a standby should this happen.
    A quarter of the route is either new landowners or new land being provided by long term supporters. If I discount the runouts to/from petrol, then just over 80% of the route is competitive, so pretty pleased with this percentage.
    The first leg is circa 70 miles, second 60 miles and third 50 miles. Closest petrol to the start is in on A11 at Thetford so please allow extra 10 miles for the first leg.
    That's all for now.

    ~~~~~~~~~~~

    Well this site has worked well as has your help to spread the word that the 40th "One and Only" may be the last. We set an ambitious target of 90 entries and you have exceeded our expectation, we have 90 already! But not all paid up.
    We do expect entries to drop out for a whole variety of reasons so we will be having reserves. Based on experience many should expect to get to start. The message is, if you have entered and not paid, please do not assume you will start as someone entering today and paying will be accepted.

    ~~~~~~~~~~~

    Welcome to the 40th running of the ‘One and Only’ Preston, sponsored as always by Preston’s Garages Ltd of Writtle, Chelmsford, Essex. In keeping with the last 20 years, this year we will once again be supporting the East Anglian Air Ambulance charity.

    After 12 years, Bob and I will be standing down as Clerks of the Course. In its current format The Preston takes best part of 9 months to organise and this takes its toll. We have been very fortunate in having a fairly consistent organising team throughout this time as well and the general view is that we all need a break. Currently there is no volunteer organising team to run alongside us, hence why we think this may be the “Last and Only”. With that thought in mind, we have been working even harder to make this event truly memorable for all the right reasons.

    The entry fee includes funding for special Preston memorabilia for crews and marshals. We have also commissioned some “40th Anniversary One and Only” fleeces available for any competitor would like one and can be purchased at the time of entry at a subsidised cost of £25.

    To accommodate the additional entries, we have secured Snetterton circuit as our start and finish venue. Trailer parking will be available at Snetterton with 24 hours site security. This new start and finish venue has allowed us to recce a new area and in keeping with the past 12 years we have secured some new land.

    Notwithstanding the dry summer unless it is frosty, mud is guaranteed. As the saying goes, it is only the depth that varies. Furthermore, all this will be within a max 5 miles of the A11. Around 180 miles in total with 2 petrol halts. Currently there will be around 25 sections with the ‘mileage that counts’ amounting to approximately 120 miles and as ever about 98% of that will be un-surfaced.

    Entries open on 1st October

    Brian Jaggs, Bob Blows, Clerks of the Course, on behalf of the Organising Team

    Marshals

    Marshal registration will open on 1st October. This year we will be providing special ‘40th anniversary’ Preston fleeces to all marshals registered before the 1st November who cover a minimum of two controls. This will be restricted to two fleeces per marshalling team, for those who attend with a team of more than two, why not consider pairing off into two person teams which will help cover the vast amount of controls and secure yourselves a fleece! We will endeavour to place you in nearby locations or same sections when possible.

    The registration form will ask for you to state your fleece size. We need to place the order for these on 1st November to ensure they are delivered ready for issue on the day of the Preston so please be prompt. If you register after 1st November we will still be very pleased to see you but unfortunately we will not have a stock of spare fleeces. There will be an opportunity to purchase additional fleeces but we require payment before 1st November. Price will be £25.

    As in previous years, for those marshals who marshal 3 controls or one control in the 2nd and one control in the 3rd legs, then we will be providing a free cooked breakfast at Snetterton circuit from 6am.

    As Clerks of Course, Bob and I thank you in advance. As all the competitors know, without you there would be no event. Based on our twelve years organising the Preston, we are clear, we think our Preston Marshals are the best.
    I look forward to seeing you all on the night and also all the Christmas lights, fancy dress etc.

    Chief Marshal is Luis Gutierrez-Diaz, ably supported by Richard Milbank and Jim Bowie

    The One and Only 'Preston' Facebook Group.

    Twitter: @Preston1andOnly

    Andy Manston's 2017 Preston Gallery

    The Preston, The Future - by Adrian Gladwin.