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Mercian Road Rally - Event invitation


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Hi all,

We have been made an invited club for the Mercian Road Rally, organised by the Mercia Motor Club.

The main details are shown below.

- The event is overnight, on the 16th and 17th September.
- The event is around 150 miles in total, on OS Maps 151 and 152. Most of the navigation is by tulips, but there are specials tests on private land.
- The roads are yellows, whites and some unmade roads on the special tests.
- We are welcome to enter in any car, under the CT banner. There is NOT a historic class, but both team members MUST be in CT (or other invited club)
- The event is run under two categories, as a Clubman event and a National B. The actual event is identical for both classes.
- The start of the event is at Southam Tyres, with adequate parking for all; trailers, extra cars if driver and navigator are coming from different places etc.
- The finish is The Wharf Inn, a few miles south of the start, where breakfast is provided as well as results.
- As a road rally, with a section of private land, not much special equipment is needed. All crews must carry a spill kit, and things like a tow rope, fire extinguishers, first aid kit are recommended (like our own events).
- There is no need to have anything like a roll cage/harnesses etc.

This is a link to the photo gallery from last year. As can be expected, most entries are old beater hatchbacks etc, but there is the odd old Escort etc scattered in there... and who wouldn't enjoy an evenings fun with an old Escort?


I have provisionally accepted the invitation, as I hope to take part in the event myself (Either in the 2000 or the MX5 - sadly the 540 is out as not allowed more than 4 cylinders for a modern car. The organiser can apply for exemptions for 6 pot classics).

Keep an eye on the events dedicated website - http://mercianrally.co.uk/ for when regulations and entry forms are released. For those interested there is an event specific facebook page too - just search for Mercian Road Rally.

When they're available I will also post the regulations and entry form here for download.

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Hi Richard, all being well I'll be doing the event with AJ. I have to say, I didn't realise it's the week after 10CR, so I guess there is a good chance that we won't get many CT teams entering. You'd have to be a real glutton for punishment to spend 5 days driving round Europe, then a week later spend a night blasting round Warwickshire!

However, if AJ decides not to do it with me, I'll be in touch!

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  • 2 weeks later...

Quoted from Ridgetone Triumph
This sounds very tempting indeed and what's more I am off that weekend............(think)(think)
Janet and I missed the HCR this year so could be a good excuse to practice for the next HCR 🙂

I take it Janet will be navigating? 🙂

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Quoted from Jonny-Jimbo
I didn't realise it's the week after 10CR, so I guess there is a good chance that we won't get many CT teams entering. You'd have to be a real glutton for punishment to spend 5 days driving round Europe, then a week later spend a night blasting round Warwickshire!

Erm.....team glutton for punishment entering in the form of Radley/Wake. 😲

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AJ and I have now changed our entry - the MX5 needed too much work to prepare for the event, so I decided I could only do one thing... and buy another car!!

Nothing fancy in the slightest, but a nice(? little Citroen AX GT that's been used for road rallying, and is only one step away from being a stage rally car (just needs log booking really).

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  • 1 month later...

My report of the event, if anyone's interested;

We finally finished getting the AX prepped for the Mercian Road Rally a few days before the start of the event, rather than the usual last minute thrash.

We set off to Southam at 7pm for noise test, which we passed without issue - 75dBa from memory. The limit was 98, so we were fine. Then a short queue into Scrutineering, which we also passed without issue. We then had a long wait until the drivers briefing at 10.30pm.

At 00:05 we were finally away, and straight into very dense fog. After a short while we caught up with a pack of other cars, with a tidy Vauxhall Nova heading the pack - although going a little bit slower than our time cards allowed. After twisting through the lanes a bit, we arrived at the first special test, which was tight and twist but good fun. We found some of the tracks very rough for the little AX - maybe a car with bigger wheels and a longer wheel base would have fared better.

We were making good time during this section, with Alex Joslin's navigating perfectly, with no wrong slots or major diversions. Unfortunately I was distracted as we approached a corner that I read as a left kink, but it was actually a 90 right. With so much mud on the road, by the time I knew I'd misread the bend we were on the mud with no chance of stopping. We hauled the speed down, but the nose of the AX still went into a ditch quite hard, although the sump plate took the brunt of the force and saved the radiator. Damage was limited to a broken light lens, and various trim clips broken. Two cars passed with us in the ditch, although both stopped to check we were okay - which we were thankfully. After assessing damage and trying to find branches to stick under the front wheels, I heard a very distinct noise - could it be that there was a powerful Triumph 2000 coming our way?? I waved it down, and there was Steve and Colin - with the tow rope already on my car the grunty straight six pulled the AX straight out of the ditch. Steve and co left us at this point. I quickly checked over the car, and the steering was fine, as were the tyres etc. Nothing more than dented pride and a bit of damaged trim. The lights even still worked!

We probably dropped about half an hour in total, which put us OTL for that time card, and unfortunately, for most of the rally. But we did continue, last car on the road (we were 4th from last when we left anyway). The roads used on the rally were very rough in places, with a lot of 'whites', including one that felt like we were driving through someone's garden! Towards the end of the first half we entered special tests 2 and 3, on an airfield at Hinton - again, very rough and muddy, but we use the handbrake to good effect a few times. After this we went for the half way fuel stop at Banbury, before continuing through the lanes around Gaydon to the finish point in Fenny Compton. We came across a few unlucky people who'd have smaller 'offs' than us but with much worse consequences - smashed alloys, bent steering etc.

Anyway, I had great fun on my first rally, even if it did go a bit wrong! We had issues with filling in the time cards correctly too which gave us a much worse score than we had anticipated, but it's all a learning experience. Alex did a fantastic job of navigating, with a first attempt at tulips and plot+bash style naving.
I'd recommend anyone to give it a go, it's great fun, and really not expensive either!

We will return!

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