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A Busy Weekend for Mid-Derbyshire Motor Club Members

Lee Burgess and his brother, in the white Subaru. Photograph courtesy of Phil Andrews

25th and 26th February was a busy time for some members of Mid-Derbyshire Motor Club. On Saturday night the Rally of Derbyshire rally was run with ten members driving or navigating in seven cars and others were out in the lanes marshalling. On Sunday the East Riding Stages was run from Beverley in East Yorkshire with three members competing, one driving and the other two navigating. Another member was marshalling.

The Rally of Derbyshire was a round of four Regional Championships and attracted an entry of 40 cars. The main route was 105 miles around the lanes of the Peak District but it started with a special test at the go-kart track near to Buxton at 11:00 pm. At midnight the first car set off on the rally route aiming to finish by 4:00 am.

The most successful club member was James Gratton-Smith who finished 3rd driving a MGZR. Richard Oxley finished 8th driving a Proton Satria Gti. Richard Henman and Ken Worf were a commendable 12th in a Peugeot 106 having been seeded at 18. Father and son duo Jason and Jake Simms were 15th also in a Proton. Mark Slatcher and Alistair Leggett were 21st in their BMW Compact but had been running as high as 3rd before encountering some issues. Unfortunately Dennis Cooke had to retire his Citroen Saxo. Tom Murphy was navigating but he and his driver also had to retire their BMW two miles into the first section due to broken rear suspension. Every cloud though has a silver lining which meant he got more sleep than expected before navigating the next day in Yorkshire although their luck was then only marginally better.

The East Riding Stages is a special stage rally on closed public roads. It was the first round of the Protyre Motorsport UK Asphalt Rally Championship and attracted a very high-quality entry of 146 cars that Motorsport News described as sensational and of a quality seldom seen on mainland rallies. A number of cars were only one category down from the World Rally Championship Rally 1. The four special stages run in the morning were repeated in the afternoon giving a total of 45 miles.

The club chairman Lee Burgess and his brother finished a creditable 74th in his Subaru Imprezza. This was his first event for three years and he had been seeded at 107. Tracy Wood navigated for her uncle and finished 75th in a Mitsubishi Evo. Saturday was a somewhat better day for Tom Murphy but he and his driver still had to retire after five stages when in 65th place as the engine was close to blowing up. This was of course a different car to the one they used on Saturday night.


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