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Bruce Robinson Memorial Rally 2003

Lincoln Motor Cycle & Car Club

15th/16th February 2003

Clerk of the Course: Trevor Faulkner

Route: 140 Miles

Maps: 113 121 & 122

Starters: 47

Winners: John Haden/Iain Tullie (Subaru Impreza Estate)

John Haden/Iain Tullie repeated their 2002 success by taking a second succesive victory on the Bruce Robinson Memorial Rally in their Subaru Impreza Estate. The pairing coming home five minutes ahead of their nearest rivals.

Bruce Robinson Memorial Rally 2003

The road rally was organised by Lincoln Motor Cycle and Car Club and used a 140 mile route all within close proximity of the club’s base.

The opening sections were relatively easy affairs in the Saxilbury area to the North West of Lincoln, they were designed to get crews into shape for the meat of the action. This took place in the lanes towards Hornscastle, where petrol was taken. Crews then made their way back to Lincoln with sections that took in the infamous Biscathorpe double fords and tests over Binbrook and Wickenby airfields.

Route definition was straightforward but the entire event was plot and bash. All standard sections were timed to the minute but there were two regularity sections timed to the second, one in each half.

Haden/Tullie cleaned all the standard sections in the first half, dropping just 90 seconds on the regularity section; this gave them a lead of a minute and a half. A consistent run through the second half, combined with problems for their closest challengers, meant that by the Finish they had extended this lead to over five minutes.

Bob Marshall/Roger Hage took the runner up spot, they could have been in contention for victory but for a five minute wrong slot in the first half. They were only twenty seconds slower over the second half than the winners. Marshall/Hage were not alone in their wrong slot, they had been acompanied by two other fancied crews, Carl Hawkins/Steve Porter and Guy Robinson/Charlie Wheeldon.

Hawkins/Porter had started the rally badly when they had made contact with a bridge on the opening section, damaging the rear quarter of their Vauxhall Nova. They recovered from this, and their wrong slot, to look a certainty for second place at the Finish, however they didn’t make it as they broke a drive shaft on the final test over Wickenby Airport.

Robinson/Wheeldon caused a stir at the Start by turning up in a four wheel drive turbo charged Proton Persona. Questions were raised as there were doubts as to whether a Persona was ever available in this configuration. However Robinson had the relevant documentation to hand proving that the car, which is basically a rebadged Mitsubishi Lancer Evo2, was sold as a Proton Wira.

It was a difficult debut for the car as they lost reverse gear early on in the proceedings. Despite this, Robinson/Wheeldon held fourth place at the halfway point and looked set for a third place finish when they fell foul of Wickenby as well. They overshot a junction and, with no reverse gear, they went to swing around, unfortunately they went off the road and became stuck. They eventually regained the tarmac but lost tweny-two minutes in the process. They were eventually classified in eighteenth place.

Malcolm Holdsworth/Richard Holdsworth made the long journey south in search of ANCC points and held second place at the halfway point. However a wrong slot in the second half cost them time and dropped them behind slower cars, resulting in them being held up at controls and losing further time. This relegated them to seventh at the Finish.

Biscathorpe Ford

Bruce Robinson Memorial Rally 2003
Bruce Robinson Memorial Rally 2003
Photographs: M&H Photography

Gavin Smith/Simon Bentley had a good run, holding third place at Petrol they lost out on the runner up spot at the Finish as a short wrong slot was enough to allow Marshall/Hage through.

The top Semi-Expert crew were David Williams/Richard Booth who brought their Renault Clio into fourth place at the Finish. They were just over a minute ahead of the second in class Tim Rodgers/Rodger Cunningham in a similar car. Kevin Hutchinson/Mike Angove were the leading Novices who finished in seventeenth place overall on what was only their second ever rally.

The notorious Biscathorpe Fords caused the retirements of James Ashton/Christopher Brown (Vauxhall Corsa), Chris Faulkner/Chris Thorley (Ford Sierra) and Bernie Watkins/Adam Roper (Vauxhall Cavalier). The latter's engine being destroyed - "one piston at the top of the stroke, three at the bottom". Jamie Gratton-Smith/Richard Hage (Peugeot 205), Graham Nunn/Paul Nelson (Peugeot 205) and Peter Noad/Dave Kirkham (Audi 80GT) were all delayed but managed to continue to the Finish.

Sandie Taylor/Paul Taylor had a short rally as an altenator belt worked loose on their Peugeot 205, this allowed the fan belt to cut an oil pipe and they were out before ten miles had been covered. Others on the retirement list were Stew Dale/Jez Harris, who withdrew at Petrol with the navigator unwell and David Howell/Stephen Taylor, whose Manta had run out of brakes by the halfway halt.

Simon Tate/Richard Wilson (Opel Manta) and Peter Reeson/Nathan Marriott (Peugeot 205) were both sidelined after a collision between the two when the Manta crew had stopped to collect a code board.

Of the forty-seven starters, twenty-eight made it back to the finish at Lincoln.


Pos Driver Navigator Car Penalty
1 John Haden Iain Tullie Subaru Impreza 9m 36s
2 Bob Marshall Roger Hage Vauxhall Corsa 14m 52s
3 Gavin Smith Simon Bentley Peugeot 205 GTi 16m 05s
4 David Williams Richard Booth Renault Clio 16m 38s
5 Owen Turner Graham Raeburn Hillman Imp 16m 48s
6 Tim Rodgers Roger Cunningham Peugeot 205 GTi 18m 12s
7 Malcolm Holdsworth Richard Holdsworth Toyota Corolla 19m 22s
8 Martin Betts Mick Fern Ford Escort 21m 11s
9 Dan Robinson Ian Gibbins Peugeot 205 GTi 23m 13s
10 Mark Slatcher Justin Chapman Vauxhall Astra GTE 24m 19s
11 Dave Chapman David Taylor Peugeot 205 GTi 25m 08s
12 Mark Turner Lee Burgess Subaru Impreza 25m 49s
13 Russ Jones David Wilson Mini 29m 14s
14 Andy Beaumont Mike Petch Proton Satria 29m 54s
15 Graham Nunn Paul Nelson Peugeot 205 GTi 30m 10s
16 Jamie Gratton-Smith Richard Hage Peugeot 205 GTi 33m 27s
17 Kevin Hutchinson Mike Angove Vauxhall Astra 34m 22s
18 Guy Robinson Charlie Wheeldon Proton Persona 34m 55s
19 Nichola Hillier Dave Broadley Rover Metro 37m 30s
20 Peter Noad David Kirkham Audi 80 GT 45m 00s
21 Jason Cutter George Cowling Peugeot 309 GTi 48m 19s
22 Abe Shenker Steve Brown Peugeot 205 GTi 52m 17s
23 James Carter Jonathan Stockdale Ford Escort 52m 26s
24 Bill Chadwick Alan Edwards Toyota Celica 57m 15s
25 Simon Taylor Ian Faulkner Peugeot 205 GTi 58m 15s
26 Bob Wisneiwski Paul Lettington Vauxhall Nova 1h 00m 29s
27 Joe Woodward Chris Wallet Peugeot 309 GTi 1h 11m 51s
28 Paul Davies Mark Wagstaff Peugeot 309 GTi 1h 30m 25s
29 Adrian Green Paul Hudson Ford Fiesta 1F 39m 38s
30 Adrian Ancliffe John Chadwick Ford Escort 1F 39m 50s
31 Keith Astley Sue Bartley Vauxhall Astra 1F 54m 05s
32 John Stephens Paul Stephens Citroen Visa 1F 56m 39s
33 John Ross Oliver Ross Subaru Impreza 2F 35m 59s
34 Nigel Dinsdale Brian Marquis Ford Lotus Cortina 2F 1h 25m 09s
35 Michael Watkins Graham Cherry MG Maestro 5F 1h 38m 57s
36 Chris Rider James Godley Citroen Saxo 13F 2h 40m 24s