Tag Archives: Astra

South Downs Rally 2015

This was the second time I’ve been to the South Downs Stages Rally held at Goodwood Motor circuit home of the revival and there was only a little rain so definitely better than last year! As anyone who looks at my posts knows, I love old Fords. So to get around lots of pictures of the same car being posted I have decided to bump all of the Escorts to the bottom of the post… apart from the one above – Graham ‘Crank’ Palmer in his Pinto powered Mk1 which shed some spare parts before the end of the event.

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I’ll start with another two wheel drive rally classic. The 205 of Rob Aslett and Ashley Aslett who finished 12th in class C.

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This Nova was going very quickly all day and I was surprised to see that it was in the under 1,400CC class. What I wasn’t surprised at is that Christopher & Anthony Newton placed very high getting 3rd place overall in the event against some much more powerful machines as well as 1st in class.

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Like the Ferrari 308 of Neil McMahon / Dave Mellett which was 37th overall but 3rd in class.

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Not an Escort but it’s replacement. Nigel Mummery’s RS200 which came 1st in class and 11th overall going the ‘wrong’ way down Goodwood’s main straight.

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Now some mocked the Micra when they saw my pictures last year but Stuart Andrews was about the fastest thing through the chicane on the main straight in stage 8. I’m not sure he even braked!

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A 1,600cc 205 heads to a 4th in class B which probably would have been a 3rd were it not for this detour(they should have turned left before they got this far!) Matthew Ockendon drives with Vicky Barry co-driving.

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8 places ahead of them was Abi Mahmood & Colin Felstead to gain second place in class B with a pretty rapid Fiat Punto.

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The 2L Astra was putting in top 10 stage times until an oil fire put them out of contention shortly after this picture was taken on stage 3. They exit the chicane onto the main straight the right way.

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Nice to see a humble Sierra out competing though of course McRae’s Junior and Senior have run one at various times. This one is on proper sized wheels too, not ones borrowed BTCC super tourer! Bill Stewart & Caroline Brampton got second in class.

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Disappointingly this was the only Mini but it finished second in class a long way clear of third place beaten only by the Nova above. Alec Holding & Dom Worsfold.

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Heading up the Escort cavalcade is a Fiesta driven by Stephen & Melissa Hall.

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1st in class C in the Mk2 Escort Stuart Cogger & Ade Summers get very sideways.

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Vince Sillett & Samm Keeley just as sideways but a slow stage 4 harmed their final position.

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Tim Mewett got the braking wrong in stage 4 and missed his turn in but still got 6th overall. Liz Jordan laughs(?) as they make their way back on course and is seen again in the afternoon.

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2.3l Escort Mk2 which I didn’t get a chance to look at in the paddock but now wish I had! Geoffrey & Claire Martin who got second in class D.

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Steve Toney & Ross Wilson get their Mk1 very sideways. No this didn’t end well but fortunately they missed anything solid and nearly every car got it wrong here on this pass.

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Kevin & Lee Jones spin the wheels of the ex-works escort as they recover from a spin. I have quite a lot of pictures of this car so might do a mini update with just pictures of it.

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A funny looking Caterham this one…?

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Escort awaits stage six but sadly retired before the end with a broken clutch cable.

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One of the great things about this event i that it runs into the dark. In all honesty I positioned myself on the wrong side of the track for these shots but lesson learnt… Richard & Irene Lewsey running for fun after failing to post a time in stage 2.

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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!