South Downs Stages Rally Goodwood

On Sat 8th Feb it was the 10th running of the South Downs Stages Rally at Goodwood motor circuit. The weather forecast wasn’t great but there isn’t much opportunity to see rally cars at full bore in this part of the world so I decided to take a chance. Fortunately it held off for most of the day only getting really bad at the end.

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Stages were run over various configurations of the circuit during the day with the afternoon running the ‘wrong way’ around the circuit. In the above picture the 2l Mk1 Escort of Roland Brown and Terry Luckings is seen coming up from Fordwater toward Madgewick they would ultimately finish 16th overall and 8th in class.

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On what would normally be the exit to Madgwick a series of ‘wiggles’ had been put in using the tarmac run off area to form part of the course. Jack & Martin Brazil are exiting the main circuit in the 1.9 205 on the way to a 5th in class and 12th overall.

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Coming into the wiggles is the Mk2 Escort of Mark Wiltshire & Adam Dunn who would ultimately come 5th in class and 8th overall. With over 1/3rd of the entry was made up from MK1 & 2 Escorts these pictures may get repetitive if you aren’t a Ford fan. I love them and so needed no excuse to take lots of pictures!

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Other cars running on the day were top to bottom Chris Selfe & Paul Lowman in a BMW M3. John Taylor and Lindsey Watson in the Talbot Sunbeam finishing second in class. Dean Thomas & Rich Knowlton in the Davrian Dav-Tec which sadly retired after SS7 with, what looked like to a spectator, an overheating issue.

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And showing that you don’t need flash machinery to take part Oliver and Simon Howard in a K11 Micra which won first in class beating the Talbot and Astra amongst others. My Mum’s never went like that… unless possibly when my Dad was driving.

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What was noticeable wandering around the paddock was how relaxed people were compared to a race paddock. There were far more groups of people chatting and no way near the amount of ‘mines bigger than yours’ nonsense going on.

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Just before lunch when the paddock pictures were taken John and Sharon Mills go the right way through Madgewick in their class B Citroen C2.

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The 1600 Mk1 Escort driven by Tony Rendell and co driven by Sed Simeone gets the power down going through the run off section used as part of the rally stage. They would ultimately finish second in class and 24th overall ahead of the Citroen above as well as a 205 and other Escorts.

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The 205 GTi of Philip and Robert Smith makes steady progress through the wiggles. Believe it or not this is not cropped at all, I managed to frame it just so… of course I haven’t posted all the pictures I have of half a car…

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Apart from this one of Mark Wiltshire trying to spot his turn in point.

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Stephen Hall looks like he is enjoying his rally co-driven by Lee Williams in the 1700 Mk1 Fiesta.

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The last stage of the day ran into darkness and eventual winners Simon Mauger and Melanie Holmes are seen here doing the only sensible thing you can do with excess fuel. They seemed to be really on it on every run being totally committed as the car squirmed under braking.

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I grew up on images of rally cars running in the dark so to get to see them in the flesh was quite special even if there were no Group B monsters. Russell Davies and Andy Thomlinson show they are trying really hard with the brakes glowing to get a 3rd in class.

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Escorts Stuart Cogger & Lee Bezuidenhout (top – 2nd in class) and Richard Lewsey & Irene Lewsey (lower – 4th in class) pushing on into the night, even in the wind the sound is unmistakable. Finally the point I decided I wanted to be warm and dry;

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Sorry no credit to the driver/car of this one but I can’t see who you are in that rain. Free print of your choice if you can prove it is you!

Lerwick – Shetland 2014

I was lucky enough to visit Shetland for work recently and although I didn’t get much time to myself I was able to get out with my camera for an hour one evening. The weather was mild but wet and windy. There had just been a rain shower before this and by the following afternoon the winds were getting to be quite strong and I made it out before the airports shut for 3 days.

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Old Stone Age Pictures – Ashdown Forrest

Before my current SLR I had a film SLR that I have very reluctantly given up due to the poor print qualities of film commonly available now. I used to have a long commute that involved going over Ashdown Forrest. I would often take my camera and stop for a walk and to take pictures, some of which are below.

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The view from the road as you burst out into the clearing left from the ’87 storm.

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Lower down there are still plenty of trees to be found. As I walked to get this picture I came face to face with a deer about 10m away but so well camouflaged I didn’t see it till I was right on top of it. We watched each other for a bit but as I reached to bring up my camera the slight movement was enough for it to turn and run becoming invisible in an instant.

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During this time there always seemed to be interesting light around. I miss the daily changes but not the 2hrs a day driving on challenging roads when you’ve been working late.

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The tree in the last 2 shots above stood on its own at the summit of my journey, dividing home from work. It was nearly always visible against the sky, even in the late dusk, for quite some distance.

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…and finally coming own the other side you are into Kent countryside.

Motorsport at the Palace 2013 – Monday

With dates now scheduled for 2014 (25th & 26th May) this will be the 5th consecutive year of this event run in the grounds of the old Crystal Palace. The show is put on by Sevenoaks & District Motor Club with a lot of hard work to turn this piece of south London parkland back into a motor sport venue it was back at the end of the 1960’s. They also have a number of sponsors but of course the marciels and the park grounds keepers should also be noted for their hard work.

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The cars are parked among the trees between runs creating a peaceful paradox to the track just the other side of the bushes.

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Unlike a lot of events there is a mix from the very earliest cars though to pre-production models. I remember seeing a prototype Lotus spinning into the hay bails a few years ago at this event.

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Although they don’t get a run up the hill bikes do get demonstrated within the show.

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And finally, no matter how expensive the car or the venue, one must never underestimate the importance of gaffa tape…

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Goodwood Revival 2013 – Friday

I have been to Goodwood a number of times now and love the show they put on. The weather caused problems this year but the Friday was still a good if a bit cold and windy. The final track event of the day, and the first race of the weekend, was held in a torrential summer rain storm meaning that by the time it was cancelled 20mins early it was near pitch black. I was the idiot trying to find my car afterwards wearing sunglasses!

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Having Just come in from it’s second Qualifiying run the 1963 Ford Galaxie 500 waits it’s next turn on track in the hands of Stuart Graham & David Franklin.

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The PBA-DKW of Rudolf Ernst comes past the March Grandstand and out of the gathering storm. These cars are a bit swamped by a power circuit like Goodwood and tend to string out a bit.

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1943 Spitfire Mk 1XB kept the crowds entertained with some brilliant air displays when other aircraft were grounded and couldn’t get to the show. I don’t know who was flying but watching it repeatedly disappear behind the Jackie Stewart Pavilion only to reappear moments later is something I won’t forget!

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Rob Huff throws the 1965 Morris Mini Cooper S into Madgwick. From what I could hear there was no braking just a slight lift then throw it in and gaining about 6 Galaxie lengths on the big Fords by the exit.

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1953 Jaguar C Type owned by John Corrie and drven by David Brazell/Jonathan Turner exits The Chicane at the start of the Freddie March Memorial Trophy before…

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… the rain came. Mark Midgley’s 1952 Aston Martin DB3 shared with Chris Woodgate paddles past the pit lane. I should thank the gentleman who shared umbrella holding duties with me so that we could both take pictures.

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This picture was deliberately taken against the light cast by the TV screen in order to push the camera to it’s limit and try to get the look of a period shot.

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…And still more rain. Panning shot of Stephent Rettenmaier lining up to go down the straight for another lap in his 1949 Maserati 4CLT.

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Shortly before the race was stopped the Urs/Arlette Muller 1953 Aston Martin DB3 Coupe is lit up by the headlights of the following car as it gets all crossed up. Despite the appearance of heading straight for an accident this was the standard way for this car to exit the corner.

As always a great way to spend a weekend and a rare chance to photograph these cars away from air conditioned sunshine.

War and Peace show 2012

This was the last year the show branded as the largest of it’s kind was hosted at the Hop Farm in Kent as from 2013 it moved home. Militaria from all over the world was represented from modern day through history but there was an undeniable WW2 bias. Probably the only place you can see Sgt Oddball (imdb – Kelly’s Heros) still charging around in a tank – not least because Donald Sutherland is far to sensible for that sort of thing now.

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A great day not least because I resisted buying a Stolly that was for sale… no diffs, can’t use it on the road but can swim. Given the weather this week perhaps I should have bought it!

2013 Brand Hatch Caterhams

Caterham racing at Brands Hatch Indy circuit with a few other formulea to break up the flow, mid August 2013.

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There is always guaranteed action with the Caterhams. They are so closely matched that they run in tight packs.

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And sometimes they end up with a few bits missplaced.

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Porsche’s were one of the support races, the expensive cars were out front but by far the better racing was with the older cars.

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And more Caterhams charge through Paddock hill bend

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MX5’s were another support but there weren’t really enough to make the races spectate-able.

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Brighton Speed Trials 2012

With the news that Brighton Council may refuse permission for the 2014 event I thought I would post some pictures from the 2012 Speed trials. Brighton and Hove Motor Club are trying to save it here, .

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A direct link to the petition
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