Tour Britannia’s one-day classic race and rally tour, Mini Britannia, was announced today at Silverstone (Wednesday 27 June). Based at Silverstone, Mini Britannia will run on Saturday 13 October 2012 and will give regular competitors some late-season fun and new competitors the chance to sample this type of event.
Like its big brother, Mini Britannia will include Competition and Regularity events and will run on asphalt roads. A race at Silverstone and a series of special stages in the Silverstone area will make up a full day of competition, both starting and finishing at Silverstone.
Following the format of Tour Britannia, crews in the Competition event will tackle a series of asphalt special stages and a race at Silverstone, while the Regularity competitors will follow the same route with straight forward average speed tests on the same stages and track. As there will be no road regularity sections, the category is simple to follow without tricky navigation or timekeeping. While Regularity entrants are fully fledged competitors, competition licences are not necessary.
“The first car will start from the BRDC Clubhouse at 9am and head north into Warwickshire,” said event director Alec Poole. “There will be stages at a stately home and a private test track before returning to Silverstone for another new stage. We will then use the International race circuit before venturing out on another loop for more special stages. When the event returns to Silverstone at the end of the afternoon, the prize-giving supper will be in the BRDC Clubhouse.”
In keeping with the present financial climate, entry fees have been cut to a minimum with Regularity costing £750 and Competition £995, both including VAT.
“We have planned a full day of action and may have to limit numbers to get everyone round the route before it gets dark,” said Poole. “It is an ideal opportunity for some action before winter sets in or, if you are interested in trying a race tour, it is a great chance to sample this type of event.”
The eighth running of Tour Britannia has been judged another success by competitors after a field of 50 cars competed across two and a half days in Britain’s only race and rally tour.
When the tour ended in Harrogate on Friday evening (8 June), the major winners were confirmed as Phil Hindley/Andy Bull (competition), Richard Meaden/Nathan Blewer (targa) and Melissa Raven/Jeremy Haylock (regularity). The battles were close across all three elements of the event as Tour Britannia took crews to ten venues, seven of them new to the tour.
As well as a clutch of new venues, the event welcomed a number of new competitors to tackle the challenge of Tour Britannia. Significantly, more than a dozen crews were family pairings on this event where the social side is an important part of building a unique atmosphere.
In competition, Hindley and Bull took victory in their Porsche 911SC over the Ford Escort Mk1 of Roger Kilty and Lynette Banks with the Chevrolet Camaro of Stuart Scott and Steve Wood completing the overall podium. The result marked the fifth win in a row for Porsche, while Kilty’s drive to second was a highlight of the event. His crowd-pleasing style netted eight fastest special stage times.
The works-entered Radical SR3 SL of Meaden took a commanding win on the targa event as the road-legal car showed its on and off-track prowess in style. Meanwhile the regularity event was won and lost by just over two seconds as the Porsche 911S of Raven and Haylock narrowly pipped the Lancia Fulvia of brothers Steve and Tony Graham after a fierce battle.
“I’d like to thank all our competitors, old and new, for their support on the 2012 Tour Britannia,” said event director Alec Poole. “Of course, I must also thank all the officials and marshals for their help in some rather changeable weather. Without the army of volunteers we could not run this unique event.”
Now, Poole and his team are finalising plans for Mini Britannia, the one-day event in October, as well as the ninth Tour Britannia in 2013. More details on both events will be announced in due course.
As competitors on the 2012 Tour Britannia faced a second day of challenging weather conditions, Phil Hindley and Andy Bull maintained the advantage that they had established on the opening day to claim victory in their Porsche 911SC. After this evening’s awards ceremony, Andy rushed off to Mid-Wales to compete in more modern machinery on tomorrow’s Severn Valley Stage Rally.
Second place went to the Escort RS1600 of Roger Kilty and Lynette Banks who also clinched the Index of Performance. With Jeremy Cook and Mike Dowd being one of the few final day retirements in their 3 litre Porsche RSR, third place was taken by the Chevrolet Camaro Z28 of Stuart Scott and Steven Wood.
Honours in the Targa category went to a rather damp Richard Meaden and Nathan Blewer in their Radical SL. You will be able to read all about their experiences on the event in a forthcoming Evo magazine.
A tight battle in the Regularity event saw Melissa Raven and Jeremy Haylock just edge it in their Porsche 911S ahead of the Lancia Fulvia 1300 of Steve and Tony Graham. In third place was the Volvo P544 of McLaren Director of Design and Development Neil Oatley partnered by former WRC co-driver and current Wales Rally GB Clerk of the Course Fred Gallagher.
Victory in the pre-1965 category of the competition event went to the Shelby Mustang GT350 of Mike Thorne and Johnny Todd who also claimed the Corinthian Spirit award for the highest placed car without a support crew. There were class wins for the Lotus Cortina of Richard Martin and Paul Bouch, Philip Dolby and Helen Parker in their Alfa Romeo 2000GTV and Philip Walker and John Clark driving a 3 litre Porsche RSR.
The Competitors Choice Concours award went to the fabulous Ferrari 275 GTB of Portuguese duo Manuel Ferrao and Joaquim Bessa.
As the Tour enters its final day the Porsche 911SC of Phil Hindley and Andy Bull leads the competition field by nearly one and a half minutes with Roger Kilty and Lynette Banks in second place in their Ford Escort RS1600. Jeremy Cooke and Mike Dowd complete the top 3 in their 3 litre Porsche RSR.
Yesterday produced a number of retirements with mechanical problems including the Shelby Mustang of Robert Hartley and Evelyn Boscawen on the opening stage of the day while Mark Freeman and Kevin Kivlochan suffered gearbox failure on their Shelby Cobra in qualifying for the race at Croft. In true Tour Britannia spirit, however, they restarted the event this morning in a 2.7RS Porsche.
Mike Smith and Ian Ashley suffered transmission issues on their RSR Porsche after former Grand prix race Ashley put in an impressive performance in the Croft race which was win by the Targa category Radical SL of Evo journalist Richard Meaden with Hindley second in the Porsche. Another Porsche duo to hit problems were Philip Walker and John Clark who put their RSR in a ditch on the final stage of the day at the Yorkshire Showground.
Richard Meaden and Jethro Bovingdon dominate the Targa category in their Radical ahead of the Aston Martin DB7 of Liam Brady and David Shepherd after John and Duncan Freeman were side-lined with electronic problems on their Mazda MX5 in qualifying at Croft and Renault 5 duo Tony and Pia Bianchi had engine problems before the Raby Hall stage.
Steve and Tony Graham lead the Regularity category in their Lancia Fulvia just 5.6 seconds ahead of Melissa Raven and Jeremy Haycock. The Porsche pairing lead their class as do third placed Neil Oatley and Fred Gallagher in their Volvo P544.
Friday sees competitors visiting Harewood Hillclimb course twice, at the start and end of the day, and taking in Blyton and Newark as well as a race at the beautiful Cadwell Park circuit. The event finishes back at Rudding Park in Harrogate.
A quintet of Porsche 911s will bid to make it five wins on the trot for the German marque when Tour Britannia starts in Harrogate tomorrow evening (Wednesday 6 June).
Competitors in the eighth running of the classic race and rally tour will tackle 20 special stages and two races during two and a half days of intense competition in an event based at the Rudding Park Hotel in Harrogate.
As well as the classic cars in the all-out competition event, later cars will contest the concurrent Targa Britannia and a field of fabulous classics will take part in the regularity rally that runs on a similar route.
Heading the competition field away will be former GT racer Phil Hindley in his 911SC. The former Porsche race winner and TVR Tuscan champion will be driving his latest project in competition for the first time, but is sure to be particularly quick in the races at Croft and Cadwell Park.
Porsches have won five of the eight tours run to date, and Hindley will lead the 911s of Mike Smith/Ian Ashley, Philip Walker/John Clark and Jeremy Cooke/Mike Dowd in a very competitive field. Smith and former Grand Prix driver Ashley make a very strong combination in the 911 used by Sean Lockyear to win Tour Britannia in 2010, while 2011 overall winner Clark joins Walker in another very competitive package.
Taking on the Porsche ranks will be some V8 American muscle headed by Robert Hartley/Evelyn Boscawen and Mike Thorne/Jonny Todd in Shelby Mustang GT350s, along with the Chevrolet Camaro of Stuart Scott/Steve Wood and the AC Cobra of Mark Freeman/Kevin Kivlochan. British power includes a pair of Austin Healey 3000s for David Smithies and David Grace. Among the smaller-engined cars, the multi-discipline experience of Roger Kilty, partnered by Lynette Banks, will make their Ford Escort Mk1 a leading contender.
Heading the Targa Britannia field will be the spectacularly fast Radical SR3 SL of Richard Meaden and Jethro Bovingdon, which will be challenged by Liam Brady and David Shepherd in their Aston Martin DB7.
The regularity field is wonderfully varied and leading runners should include Neil Oatley, who has former WRC co-driver Fred Gallagher alongside in his Volvo PV544, and brothers Steve and Tony Graham in their fabulous Lancia Fulvia. Porsche, Ferrari, Aston Martin, Jaguar and Bentley are all represented in this element of the event.
After the opening two stages on Wednesday evening, two full days of competition will take crews across Yorkshire and Lincolnshire before the finish at Harrogate on Friday afternoon.
On Thursday spectators are welcome at Croft (from 10am) and on Friday at Harewood hillclimb (from 07.20 and 17.00) and at Cadwell Park (from 10.10).
Former Tour Britannia winners
2005 Ray Bellm/Paul Lanzante (Ford GT40)
2006 Bruce Stapleton/Alastair Cowin (Morgan Plus 8)
2007 John Grant/Charles Elwell (Chevron B16)
2008 Sean Lockyear/Roy Stephenson (Porsche 911)
2009 Nick Whale/Harry Whale (Porsche 911RS)
2010 Sean Lockyear/Ian Reed (Porsche 911)
2011 John Clark/Emma-Jane Gilbart-Smith (Porsche 911)