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Preston Rally 2001

Sponsored by Preston Garage Ltd of Writtle, Chelmsford

Chelmsford Motor Club

8th/9th December 2001

Clerk of the Course: Adrian Gladwin

Route: 140 Miles

Map: 143, 144, 154 & 155

Starters: 50

Photographs: M&H Photography

Winners: Steve Webster/Roger Hage (Subaru Impreza)

Chelmsford MC’s Preston Rally is now a legendary event in southern England. Based in Norfolk and Cambridgeshire the event makes use of the tracks, both public and private, that abound in those two counties. The 2001 event had 110 miles of competitive motoring, of which 85 miles were on unsurfaced tracks.

Rali RedKite 2002
Pete Gabitiss/Alan Ogden (VW Golf GTi)
Rali RedKite 2002
Owen Turner/Andrew Dadswell (Hillman Imp)

Unlike other southern road rallies route definition is straightforward, competitors are issued with road books containing high quality photocopied maps of the enitre route. The event started in 1978 and has had the same sponsor, Preston Garages of Chelmsford, since its first running. Any profits from the rally are donated to the East Anglian Air Ambulance service.

The Preston is a very popular event, its 50 car entry is always oversubscribed, in fact the eventual winners, Steve Webster/Roger Hage, were one of the crews on this year’s reserve list.

Only the withdrawal of previous Preston winners Mike Biss/Cath Woodman allowed them a start. The pair, competing in a Subaru Impreza, started the rally cautiously but went to the front of the field at about third distance. By the petrol halt they’d established a thirty second lead, this was extended to over two minutes at the Finish.

Having led initially Andy Baker/Lee Burgess took second place in their Peugoet 205. There was a close battle for third place, with Martin Smith/Martin Fowle taking the position from Martin Self/Paul Barrett on the very last section.

Amongst the leading runners who failed to make it to the finish were Dick Archer/Tim Ball, Steve Pashley/Richard Pashley and Steve Massey/Steve Copland.

The Semi-Expert class was won by the Ford Escort of Martin Betts/Mick Fern, who were 14th overall. The Novice award went to Alan Pemberton/Chris Robinson who were competing in an Audi Quattro. Jamie Turner, on his fifth attempt, finally made the Finish of the Preston, albeit in 35th and last place.

Top seeds Pete Gabitiss/Alan Ogden had a difficult night ending the Preston in 32nd place. Meanwhile the Hillman Imp of Owen Turner/Andrew Dadswell finished in sixth place for the second year in succession


Pos Driver Navigator Car Penalty
1 Steve Webster Roger Hage Subaru Impreza 18m 10s
2 Andy Baker Lee Burgess Peugeot 205 GTi 20m 21s
3 Martin Smith Matthew Fowle Toyota Corolla 22m 25s
4 Martin Self Paul Barrett Subaru Legacy 22m 35s
5 John Haden Charlie Wheeldon Subaru Impreza 27m 03s
6 Owen Turner Andrew Dadswell Hillman Imp 29m 05s
7 Tim Grant Mark Goodman Audi Quattro 31m 32s
8 Doug Kingsley Ben Greenwood Vauxhall Nova GTE 35m 27s
9 Dave Quinney Gary Evans Peugeot 205 GTi 40m 25s
10 Naftali Ayieko Glyn Williams Peugeot 106 Rallye 42m 38s
11 Jeremy Rodgers Mark Fearon MG Maestro 43m 23s
12 Neil Parsons Simon Tebbutt Peugeot 106 Rallye 43m 39s
13 Rob Reynolds Allan Collyer Vauxhall Nova SRi 44m 17s
14 Martin Betts Mick Fern Ford Escort 44m 54s
15 John Parsons Brian Jaggs VW Golf GTi 49m 53s
16 Clive Baty Ray Crowther Mitsubishi Lancer Evo 64m 57s
17 Graham Child Kevin Ablitt Ford Escort 88m 21s
18 Alan Pemberton Chris Robinson Audi Quattro 92m 59s
19 Dave Leadbetter Matthew Endean Skoda Estelle 95m 10s
20 Richard Atherton Chris Bowden MG Maestro 97m 53s
21 Ian Perry Ian Orford Citroen AX 103m 12s
22 Paul Wright Brian Otridge Ford Sierra 1F 62m 39s
23 Nigel Dinsdale Brian Marquis Ford Escort 1F 66m 53s
24 Paul Dutton Gerry Fordham Ford Sierra 1F 83m 46s
25 Richard Oxley Mark Slatcher Vauxhall Nova 1F 90m 55s
26 Mark Ingram Kathy Smith Peugeot 309 2F 57m 08s
27 Joseph Ivey Mick Porter BL Mini 2F 82m 00s
28 Ben Clay Jim Clay Peugeot 205 GTi 2F 122m 46s
29 Mark Banham Paul Haycock Vauxhall Nova 5F 87m 36s
30 Steve Monk John Hall Toyota Corolla 6F 49m 31s
31 Peter Banham Simon Banham Mercedes 250SE 8F 68m 28s
32 Peter Gabitiss Alan Ogden VW Golf GTi 11F 36m 47s
33 Richard Bardbury Andrew Mason Peugeot 205 GTi 14F 44m 32s
34 Michael Brookes Wayne Larbalestier Peugeot 205 GTi 16F 89m 50s
35 Jamie Turner Graham Raeburn MG Maestro 20F 23m 40s