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Little Classics News: 12 May 2014

Royal Automobile Club Hosts Special Stage Rally

Royal Automobile Club Hosts Special Stage RallyFor the first time in its history, the Royal Automobile Club’s Woodcote Park estate played host to a competitive motorsport event when the Mini Britannia rally took place there on Saturday, 10th May.

Beginning at 8.31 am, cars were flagged away from the front of the main building at one minute intervals. Heading out of the main gate, the diverse field, which included a Jaguar XK120 and C-type, a 1965 Ford GT40, 1970 Camaro, 1969 Morgan Plus 8 and many Porsche 911s, made its way to Dunsfold Park, home of the BBC Top Gear track, to compete in the first, three-mile, high-speed competition stage.

Heading north, the next challenge was at Brooklands with its famous test hill, as well as cone-marked sections of the steep banking, after tests and careful car control, competitors were able to stretch their legs on the Mercedes-Benz World test track. After lunch, it was back to Dunsfold Park, where competitors were able to do what so many Top Gear viewers have wanted to do in taking on the iconic speed stage made famous by the shows ‘star in a reasonably car’. Driver Howard Redhouse set an impressive lap time of just 1minute, 28sceonds in his Porsche 911 and maintained his pole position on the leader board at each stage of the rally.

The Club’s Woodcote Park played host to the final stage of the rally within the grounds of the elegant 17th Century mansion where Howard Redhouse and his co-driver Scott Nicholson won the Mini Britannia cup.

Royal Automobile Club Hosts Special Stage RallyLike its big brother the Tour Britannia, Mini Britannia comprises Competition and Regularity categories and runs on asphalt roads. Following the format of Tour Britannia, crews in the Competition event tackle a series of asphalt special stages, while the Regularity competitors follow the same route with straightforward average speed tests on the same stages. Regularity entrants are fully fledged competitors, but competition licences are not necessary. The regularity competition was won by driver Andrew Brodie and Richard Payne driving a 1972Citroen SM.

‘It is such a great honour for ours to be the first competitive motor race to be held at Woodcote Park in over 100 years,’ said Alec Poole, founder of Mini Britannia. ‘We are so fortunate to have been granted permission by the club and are grateful for their hospitality and support. We would also like to thank special guest Paddy Hopkirk for presenting the trophies at the prize giving.’

‘We are delighted to have hosted the final competitive stage of Mini Britannia rally at Woodcote Park, what an incredible sight to see Captain’s Drive roar into life’ said Ben Cussons, Chairman of the Royal Automobile Club’s Motoring Committee.


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