A couple of weekends ago I was driving around North East of Bristol when I noticed there seemed to be a lot of Sabaru Impreza’s, Mitsubishi EVO’s, Ford RS’s, the odd Mini, Peugeot 206 and Citroën Xsara headed off towards Castle Combe, not having a lot on that morning I decided to see what was going on and found myself attending the 15th Rally Day at Castle Combe.
As I arrived there was some sort of open test session going on, one of the stars of which was Waldemar Janecki from Poland in his FIAT 126 Proto Honda CBR, he uses this 600 cc / 36 cui device in the Polish WRT Extreme Cup, for which I found no official web site on the net though there is no question that it exists, with Grzegorz Kwiecień in the co drivers seat.
There are not many cars I know absolutely nothing about and after talking to the owner of the ‘Prototype’ above on facebook just now I’m not sure how much the wiser I am now. According to Dave Skone, who competes in the Safari Britpart Cross Country Challenge organised by the AWDC with his son Rob, “the car is a Matserati, aprox 15-16 years old, but was built with a Porsche 911 engine in it. I think it has had about 5 owners including myself ( and Rob my son ) the car was bought about 3 years ago and then rebuilt 2 years ago when we installed a 4.2 v8 supercharged Jag engine.” Obviously a man with a sense of humour, I shall endeavor to find out what the Safari Britpart Cross Country Challenge organised by the All Wheel Drive Club, AWDC, is all about at their next meeting which will be at Walters Arena Glynneath on the 11th of October.
The AWDC will be busy on October the 11th because they will also be organising an AVT, SVT and MOD trials at Old Down near Thorbury, South Glocestershire which is I understand the type of event where one might expect to see the 200 hp 3 litre / 183 cui Honda V6 powered Screamer 2 driven by Lee Pritchard who also built the all wheel drive, all wheel steer vehicle, above, in action.
For those not so technically minded who want to have a go at rallying for a minimal cost you could do worse than sign up for a 3 hour rally course at Castle Combe where Richard Knott, youngest winner of the AWMMC Championship aged 19 some years ago, will show you the ropes and analyse your skills at the wheel of the 2002 Group N Spec Subaru Impreza above for the bargain price of £165.
Over the past few years I have come across Bob Beales 1960 Volkswagen 1200 Bertie many times at various show’s but this was the first occasion on which I had seen the car, originally campaigned in 1960 by 1960 and 1961 British Rally Champion Bill Bengry and driven since 1965 in competition by Bob, in action. This car is so well known among the Rally fraternity Scalextric have issued a slot car model of it.
Finally star of the day was Ari Pieti Uolevi Vatanen the 2 twice British Rally Champion, 1981 World Rally Champion, 1983 Safari winner, four time Paris – Dakar winner and twice member of the European Parliament representing a Swedish constituency the first time and a French the second, both while living in France, who drove the same 1975 Mk II Ford Escort RS1800 he drove to win the 1976 British Rally Championship with Peter Bryant, on a couple of demonstration laps.
Thanks for joining me on this “Rally Day” edition of “Gettin’ a li’l psycho on tyres” I hope you will join me again tomorrow. Don’t forget to come back now !