ACSMC Rally Championship Newsletter – November 2022

ACSMC Rally Championship Newsletter – November 2022

After being unable to attend the round of the Championship at Abingdon and the cancellation of the Wethersfield Stages, it was great to be back in the Service Area at Bovington for the Challenger Stages. From an ACSMC point of view, the event was very well supported, with a total of seven competitors in attendance. What is more, the beautiful autumnal sunshine after a cold and misty start and the buzz of activity at the event made it even more of a pleasure.

Wayne Hole and Chris Wilson had brought the immaculately turned out Ford Escort Mk I Mexico over from the Isle of Wight for the weekend. Wayne described the stages as having “varying grip, with dampness under the trees. It is hard to pick braking points, but I am managing to gain time”. In places, mud was being thrown up on to the chicanes as well. Grip levels improved as the day continued and they were happy to end the event with a result of 13th overall and 3rd in class.

Also travelling across from the Island were Dean Long and Barney Lower in the Subaru Impreza. Dean had enjoyed the new event on the Island earlier in the year, despite having “a bit of an off” ending up in a ditch. Whether this had any hand in the later problems of the day, with the turbo booster pipe popping off on SS5 is not clear. They just had to “cruise around” that stage as they had no boost at all. After some strategically added cable ties, the booster pipe continued to move around, but held in place. SS6 was a busy one, with Barney explaining that Dean was “doing a lot of flashing!” Thankfully, he explained that he was referring to the headlights with all of the other cars around……. Despite the difficulties, they ended up 34th overall and 8th in class.

Seeded at number 36, Dave Hockaday and Steve Frost returned after blowing an engine at Abingdon. After SS2, the engine seemed to be going well, after taking it easy in SS1. It seemed to like the longer third and fourth stages too, so Dave was “looking forward to the next two longer stages.” Unfortunately, one of those stages was slightly shorter than planned, but I promised Steve that I would not mention his lap counting!…… They did all three laps in SS6 though, with the car continuing to go well. “Just lost the glass from my nearside wing mirror” Dave grinned and they finished 55th overall and 14th in class.

Chris Daykin and Michael Weeks were out in the Ford Fiesta R2 for only the second time, having competed earlier in the year in their Subaru Impreza. Michael described conditions as very slippery first thing in the morning. Plus, not knowing the venue, he was finding it hard to pick out marker points. A failed seal in the gearbox meant missing an early stage too. It was still leaking after SS4, but from a different place. “We will just tighten it up and refill it after each stage if needs be” said Michael. At the start of SS5, the car seemed to bog down a bit on the start line. “I had to dip the clutch to get it going” Chris explained, “so will try something different for the next one. I blame the lack of talent!” Unfortunately, it still bogged down on SS6, so he was still looking for that something different but the finish saw them 42nd overall and 7th in class.

Rob and Ashley Aslett in their Peugeot 205 echoed the view of the grip, with Rob saying that it was “not going very well”. He seemed happy for the rest of the event though, enjoying his usual rivalry with Dave and joking that ‘he took a shortcut to try and beat us” after Steve’s mishap that I promised not to mention. (Sorry, Steve, I will move on now). They were rewarded with 37th overall and 11th in class.

Carrying the Number 42 were Roger and Cameron Ray in the Ford Fiesta XR2. Cameron was hopeful that they had resolved the brake problems from earlier events and felt that they were going well. “New tyres were good this morning, but they are wets!” Roger was happy after SS5 and said it “seems to be going well and we are now trying to keep some quicker cars behind us.” The brake problems certainly did seem to have been resolved and this saw them take 32nd overall and 3rd in class. Mind you, Cameron did say that they were helped by Roger having “traction control in his feet!”

The ever-smiling Pete Wilkins and Caroline Brampton were back at the venue and seeded as 48 in the BMW M3. 2We had slicks on for SS1, which was definitely a mistake”. They switched to wets for the next two stages, but went back to slicks after that as the stages were drying out well. Pete thoroughly enjoyed SS5. “We ended up in a group of eight cars all together, which was great fun!” He also explained that the car had a new differential after the old one exploded at Caerwent. By the end of SS7, the temperatures were dropping as the sun was going down, but that did not stop them from claiming 49th overall and 15th in class.

Others were experiencing some difficulties, with a number of damaged cars emerging from each stage and twelve cars already retired by the end of stage 4. This included Lee and Daniel Robinson in their Ford Fiesta ST, which was overheating and left the stage with the bonnet up! Sarah White in the number 67 Vauxhall Corsa (pictured at the very top of the report) was having some problems with the electrics, with bits hanging down from the steering column! The Ford Escort of Barry Pavey and Paul Rumary had unfortunately suffered a heavy hit and was showing significant damage both front and back. Thankfully, the crew were in rather better shape.

Jamie Hales and Reg Davies in their MG ZR ,which was another one of the damaged cars, were managing to continue though and a large amount of duct tape came to the rescue, as is so often the case in motorsport!

By the end of SS6, 64 cars remained though, including all of the ACSMC Competitors.

Damien and Charly Cole were the overall winners in their Skoda Fabia R5+, 24 seconds ahead of Brad Cole and Jamie Vaughan in their Ford Escort MkII, in turn also 24 seconds ahead of the last podium place. This was taken by the Ford Fiesta R5 of Sean and Colin Quigley.

My congratulations to all of the Competitors that took part at the Challenger Stages. Impressively, all seven ACSMC competitors completed the event, despite 18 other that did not. Excitingly, as you will see from the points, Pete Wilkins & Caroline Brampton took the lead of the Championship from Roger & Cameron Ray, so the Championship is far from decided! However, that could change at the last round of the season. If Roger and Cameron Ray can score more than 14 points there, they can take the Championship back, as Pete and Caroline can only score a maximum of three there with dropped rounds taken into account.

Exciting stuff and I hope to see lots of you at Goodwood on the 3rd December for the South Downs Stages, where I will be running the flying finish and stopline. Also, keep 8th January free in your diary, as that is when we are planning the 2022 awards ceremony for.

Thoughts then turn to 2023, and entries for the first round at Brands Hatch will open on Monday!! See

Mark Baulch
Rally Championship Coordinator

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