Club news - Dec 16

Blackpool South Shore Motor Club members enjoyed their fair share of success last weekend when competing on both gravel and tarmac rallies against crews from all parts of the United Kingdom.

Indeed, the Lake District based Grizedale Stages Rally was dubbed the ‘Battle of Britain’ having attracted competitors from England, Scotland, Ireland and Wales. It lived up to expectations too with competitors from all four countries collecting awards at the finish.

Amongst them were Fleetwood Auto Engineer Mark Holmes and his co-driver Craig Simkiss who finished fourteenth overall in their Tranzparts Ford Escort Mk1. They won awards for finishing first in Class 3 (for 1601cc - 2000cc cars) and finishing first two-wheel drive car. Given that their nearest class rivals were more than a minute behind them and eight places in arrears it was a truly remarkable result for the South Shore crew.

Also contesting the Grizedale event was Adam Taylor from Clifton in the Taylors Motorsport Ford Fiesta R2. Taylor, who was co-driven by Loic Ditchburn, hadn’t competed for four years so he made a cautious start before climbing up the standings to finish thirty-eighth overall and sixth in Class 2 (for cars 1401cc – 1600cc).

For those South Shore members who prefer to rally on tarmac it meant a trip to Lincolnshire in order to contest the Hall Trophy Rally at the Blyton Park Circuit. Thornton’s Adrian Atkinson and Blackpool’s Dave Riley had an eventful day in the Warden Construction Mitsubishi Lancer Evo6, for the most part catching and trying to pass slower cars.

Their task wasn’t helped by the failure of their auxiliary lights, just when they needed them most, as darkness and fog fell in tandem. They proved themselves up to the challenging conditions making up three places to finish the rally fourth overall and claim the first in Class 4 awards.

Blackpool’s Chris Sharp-Simkiss was contesting the event as co-driver to Brandon Smith in a Darrian T9 and sixth place was enough for the pair to claim the 2016 ANWCC Stage Rally Championship.

Matty Daniels was another Blackpool co-driver in action, competing alongside Tim Whiting in a Ford Escort Mk2. Electrical issues had an adverse effect on their early stage times but once sorted they made good progress up the leaderboard to finish twelfth. Hambleton duo Paul Reader and Callum Cross reveled in the fog to bring the Saltcoat Motors Peugeot 205 home forty-fourth overall.

Mark Holmes/Craig Simkiss (Ford Escort Mk1) on the Grizedale Stages.