C2C 2022 - Event History
In 2014, due to a change in personal circumstances, I was able to start thinking about doing long distance motoring events again after an absence of eight years. To get my hand back in again I thought I would attempt the Top Gear West to East Challenge from Lands End to Lowestoft, which I am sure you are familiar with. The differences were that my friend Roy Castle and I would be doing it on a damp October night and instead of having a 5 litre supercharged V8 Jaguar we would be driving a thirty one year old Peugeot 205 diesel. Needless to say we were able to complete the run in the required time as we did not need to stop for fuel.
Talking about this at a Competitions Committee meeting some time after Ellis and Dale said that they had been thinking about revising the HCR format. Recreating the Top Gear run for Club Triumph was definitely out, as we would not get an MSA permit or the police clearances, but a comparable run from one side of the country to the other was a germ of an idea.
Club Triumph has traditionally held a medium length overnight event during the Spring. Its format has changed over time. So there was an opportunity to do something a little different during the Spring and a number of ideas have come together to produce the C2C Run.
So what are we trying to achieve with the C2C Run? The first aim is to provide an event that Club Triumph members really enjoy. We believe that that means driving their cars over a long distance on interesting and challenging roads by simple navigation and having a social element.
The C2C Run is designed to be a challenging driving experience of about 400 to 500 miles, lasting about 12 hours driving time. It is a different type of event from the RBRR and the 10CR, but takes the best features of either. It seeks out some of the best driving roads that we can find in the UK. It is primarily about driving, so planning the navigation is not difficult and can be done in advance, but due to the nature of the roads used, navigating may be more difficult and will require attention. There is also a social element to the event through meals held before and after the event. Where possible we will try to include some other form of interesting activity before the start.
Due to the location of the roads upon which the event is likely to be held, National Parks and uplands, the start or the finish may be in a location some distance from the main population centres. We will do our best to minimise the inconvenience but the event will be a fairly high effort, high enjoyment challenge. It may offer an opportunity to visit a fairly remote part of the country that you have not previously visited and form the motivation for a longer mini-break.
The first C2C in 2018 was able to do this by giving the chance, after some excellent fish and chips, to drive two laps around the Anglesey Circuit as a preliminary to the event. The route took us about 400 miles through the Snowdon National Park, Snake Pass, fast roads of Eastern England and the North Norfolk Coast to Southwold Pier, where a full English breakfast was served at the Beach Cafe. I appreciate that Anglesey was a long way for many entrants to drive to get to the start. Several entrants took the opportunity to have a mini-break on the Welsh Coast the night before.
The route of the C2C 2019 event started from Ravenglass in Cumbria, over The Hard Knott Pass to Ambleside, The Kirkstone Pass to Penrith, Hartside Summit to Alston and then to Barnard Castle, Whitby, Scarborough, Humber Bridge, Louth, Sleaford and Stamford before taking the A43 to Bicester to join the Club Triumph stand at the Heritage Centre for the Drive it Day Bicester Heritage Centre Scramble Meeting, where around 500 classic cars were on display. Many of the C2C cars were displayed and appreciated in their travel worn state.
Unfortunately 2020 was disrupted by Covid and we were not able to run the event and 2021 would have gone the same way if the MSUK Route Liaison Officers in Cumbria, Yorkshire and Lancashire had not been so flexible and suportive. In fact the route was only finalised 2 weeks before the start and in July instead of April. The original plan had been to start at Flamborough Head in Yorkshire, to drive through the North York Moors including over Rosedale Chimney, skirting Teesside and into the North Pennines Area of Natural Beauty on to Gretna Green in Scotland for a pause. Then to head south to The Hartside Summit and Alston, into the Yorkshire Dales to Sedbergh and through The Forest of Bowland to Slaidburn and then a well earned breakfast in Southport. This would have been a distance of approximately 365 miles. In the end we had to remove the Scottish and Lancashire portions and add in Swaledale, Coverdale and extra mileage in the North York Moors; so in effect we just drove around Yorkshire, but mostly on minor roads with no traffic. Most entrants thought it was the best C2C yet and liked running in July instead of April.