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Preston Rally 2003

Sponsored by Preston Garage Ltd of Writtle, Chelmsford

Chelmsford Motor Club

6th/7th December 2003

Clerk of the Course: Adrian Gladwin

Route: 190 Miles

Map: 143, 144, 154 & 155

Starters: 60

Winners: Steve Webster/Roger Hage (Subaru Impreza)

Steve Webster/Roger Hage (Subaru Impreza) repeated their 2001 success by winning Chelmford MC’s Preston Rally.

Preston Rally 2003
Winners: Steve Webster/Roger Hage (Subaru Impreza)
Photograph: M&H Photography

This was the twenty-fifth running of what is generally acknowledged to be the toughest road rally of the year. The 200 mile route included 125 miles of East Anglian tracks.

Webster/Hage adopted the cautious approach, pushing where possible but taking it easy over the rougher sections, and it brought them victory with a margin of over a minute.

Steve Monk/Pip Clode made a late charge and moved up two places over the last two sections to finish second. They had lost third gear at an early stage after a heavy landing. They also broke the rear exhaust mounting and ended the rally with exhaust held in place with a fan belt. After a second puncture they had to use a compressor before each section to pump up a tyre that was running on a broken rim.

Matt Fowle/Martin Smith (Peugeot 106), who had led briefly, finished third. They had had to contend with a slipping clutch and a starter motor that only worked intermittently, losing them time when they stalled.

Guy Robinson/Mick Fern had an eventful rally. The exhaust on their Proton Persona broke loose early on and a heavy landing after a yump twisted the car’s shell, despite these difficulties they held the lead at the first petrol halt. A wrong slot and an incident when the bonnet flew up meant that they arrived at second petrol in fourth. However when the oil light came on soon afterwards they cut to the finish.

Preston Rally 2003
Semi Expert Winners: Mike Geoghegan/Chris Robinson (Land Rover)

Peter Gabbatiss/Andrew Hughes and Jamie Turner/Graham Raeburn also damaged their cars - writing off their shells - at the same yump as Robinson, the former survived to take sixth place, but Turner/Raeburn had egine problems, cut route and were the last classified finishers.

Andy Baker/Lee Burgess and Steve Massey/Steve Coupland both went out before third distance mark with broken drive shafts on their 205s.

Mike Geoghegan/Chris Robinson won the Semi-Expert class in their Land Rover, while Tony Sims/Gavin Ford were the leading Novices.

Dave Leadbetter/Richard Maclachlan (Peugeot 205 GTi) had the shortest rally, stopping after 1km with a broken exhaust; losing the driver his 100% finishing record on the Preston.


Pos Driver Navigator Car Penalty
1 Steve Webster Roger Hage Subaru Impreza 8m 40s
2 Steve Monk Pip Clode Toyota Corolla 9m 50s
3 Matthew Fowle Martin Smith Peugeot 106 Rallye 10m 38s
4 Mark Banham Paul Haycock Subaru Legacy 13m 13s
5 Tim Tordoff Ian Frazer Peugeot 205 GTi 15m 25s
6 Pete Gabbatiss Andrew Hughes Toyota Corolla GT 16m 58s
7 Owen Turner Andrew Dadswell Rover Metro 20m 00s
8 Lee Earthy Paul Barrett Peugeot 205 GTi 25m 57s
9 Clive Baty Alan Ogden Proton Compact 26m 19s
10 Gavin Rogers Carrie Rogers Ford Escort 29m 23s
11 Rob Reynolds Nick Ardern Subaru Impreza 29m 31s
12 Mike Geoghegan Chris Robinson Land Rover Country 31m 28s
13 Andy Phillips Alan Pemberton Audi Quattro Coupe 31m 28s
14 Jeremy Rodgers Mark Fearon MG Maestro EFi 31m 35s
15 Ben Clay Richard Hage Peugeot 205 GTi 32m 00s
16 Dave Broadley Ian Broadley Lada Riva 32m 33s
17 Doug Kingsley Ben Greenwood Vauxhall Nova GTE 32m 56s
18 Dave Collyer Chris Thorley Vauxhall Nova GSi 36m 48s
19 Mark Slatcher Justin Chapman Vauxhall Astra 37m 06s
20 Dave Rowbottom John Pearson Toyota Corolla 37m 40s
21 Richard Atherton Chris Bowden MG Maestro 37m 54s
22 Bob Wisniewski Paul Lettington Vauxhall Nova GTE 38m 41s
23 John Parsons Brian Jaggs VW Golf GTi 41m 20s
24 Richard Bardbury Phil Prosser Peugeot 205 GTi 44m 04s
25 Stuart Delf Lorraine Annison Ford Fiesta 47m 47s
26 Tony Sims Gavin Ford Ford Sierra 47m 59s
27 Neal Allsopp Gordon Popperwell Ford Fiesta 54m 13s
28 Holly Bailey Jim Perkins Vauxhall Nova 55m 08s
29 Andy Elcomb Darren Hall Vauxhall Astra SRi 56m 55s
30 Kevin Fisher Glyn Heighton Ford Sierra 4x4 59m 06s
31 David Wilkinson Mark Garraway Lada Riva 1h 00m 08s
32 Mark Butcher Paul Line Ford Sierra 4x4 1h 04m 53s
33 Dave Leckie Dave Bell Vauxhall Nova 1h 20m 50s
34 Mark Gregory Julian Evans Vauxhall Nova 1F 39m 19s
35 Tim Spearman Richard Dykes Skoda Favorit 1F 44m 39s
36 Lee Robinson Daniel Robinson Ford Escort 1F 59m 34s
37 Joe Massey Dan Arthurton VW Polo 2F 1h 04m 46s
38 Phil Bennett Rebecca Baldock Ford Sierra 2F 1h 28m 29s
39 Neil Palser Dominic Worsfold Toyota Corolla GT 3F 41m 49s
40 Paul Wright Brian Otridge VW Jetta 5F 38m 56s
41 Ian Perry Clive Chapman Volvo 340 5F 1h 15m 41s
42 Michael Vergers James Scott BMW 320i 7F 50m 47s
43 Peter Skillen Stephen Pigott Ford Fiesta XR2 7F 1h 28m 53s
44 Guy Robinson Mick Fern Proton Persona 10F 07m 23s
45 Jamie Turner Graham Raeburn MG Metro GTi 22F 18m 01s