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The Harry & The Ivy Novice Rally

Sponsored by Dan Willan Coaches

Kirkby Lonsdale Motor Club

8th/9th February 2020

Organiser: Kirkby Lonsdale Motor Club

Date: 8th/9th February 2020

Clerk of the Course: Nick Townley

Route: 100 Miles

Maps: 90, 91 & 97

Starters: 20

Kirkby Lonsdale Motor Club resurrected The Harry & The Ivy Novice Rally after an eleven year break and attracted an entry of 20 cars.

As crews gathered at the Tebay Truck Stop on Saturday evening the early signs of the much heralded Storm Ciara were in evidence; strong winds and heavy rain battered the service station. The conditions weren’t going to relent; the monsoon continued throughout the night.

The entry was led away by the Proton Satria of Tony Harrison/Phil Savage, who were followed by former organisers of the event, Pete Tyson/Neil Harrison, in their Cooper S. The first five crews were all Experts, who weren’t eligible for overall awards on this novice oriented event. The Novices were headed by Mini of Graeme Cornthwaite/Lynsey Procter. There were four Beginners; these crews hadn’t competed on anything more than a 12 Car Rally.

After 60 minutes to plot the 100 mile route, competition started just off Junction 39 of the M6. The opening section was a short two minute test through the Waters Farm white. The majority of the top runners cleaned this, although Jonathan Hoggarth/Jamie Wade at Car 5 dropped a minute. Three Novice crews were also clean, as were Beginners Ryan Robinson/Adam Thompson.

A short non-competitive through Shap took crews to NTC3, the start of a 22 minute section, finishing at TC4, which was on the edge of Appleby. The heavy rain began to take its toll at this early point, with Sam Coombes/Ben Coombes planting their Rover into a muddy ditch near Reagill. Top seeds Harrison/Savage were forced out as their car’s engine ingested water. Tyson/Harrison completed the section, but dropped two minutes as their Mini struggled in the wet weather; they were to withdraw at the start of the next test.

At TC4 two Expert crews still held clean sheets, these were Tom Wilcox/Joe Glendinning and Dan Sedgwick/Matthew Hewlett. In the Novice class James Rawsthorn/Martin Quilliam were the only ones with no penalties. Class rivals Stephen Holmes/Joe Mallinson dropped 12 minutes.

The 37 minute section took competitors from NTC5, just south of Hoff, to TC6, which was at the end of the Waitby Common road. This latter control was timed to the second as the first half tie-breaker. It was to be a crucial section. A re-route had to be issued as the Leases Ford, which had been easily passable earlier in the evening was now in full flood. However, it wasn’t just the rivers that were high, by this point many lanes were resembling lakes.

The roads around the increasingly inaccurately named Drybeck provided cars with a long and deep watery obstacle. This accounted for the Mini of Graeme Cornthwaite/Lynsey Procter, which drowned out. The last car away, the Citroen C2 of Andrew Grimstone/Andrew Hutchinson, suffered the same problem.

Everyone who survived the test dropped time at TC6. Quickest through were Wilcox/Glendinning, five minutes quicker than any other crew, but they had missed a code board near Smardale, this gave them a fail. At this point Rawsthorn/Quilliam were not only the leading Novices, but were also first overall.

Section Three ran down the B-road from Nateby as far as Pendragon Castle before turning towards Tommy Road and finishing at Ravenstonedale. The target time was 12 minutes. Rawsthorn/Quilliam cleaned it and maintained their lead.

The final section before the petrol halt was an 18 minute test. It started north-west of Brownber and ran over Ravenstonedale Moor to Raisbeck, a loop through Scar Side brought the route to the end of the first half north of Coatflatt Hall.

The Scar Side loop was to prove crucial as leaders Rawsthorn/Quilliam missed it and the code board and passage control on it, resulting in them gaining two fails. Wilcox/Glendinning clean from NTC9 to TC10. Other crews were struggling to keep within their time limit and indeed Stephen Holmes/Joe Mallinson and James Durkin/Dylan Bargate got to TC10 but outside their maximum 30 minutes lateness and therefore gained a fail.

The petrol halt was back at the Tebay Truck Halt, where the rally had started. With the weather conditions worsening, the overnight gale was only the prelude to Storm Ciara, the organisers took the decision to halt proceedings at this point.

The overall winners were declared, with Stephen Holmes/Joe Mallinson taking the award. They had found all the code boards and their late arrival at the last time control gave them their only fail. Rawsthorn/Quilliam had been 13 minutes faster, but their two fails on the last section put them in second.

Dan Sedgwick/Matthew Hewlett were the only crew to complete the event fail free and won the Expert Class, ahead of Tom Wilcox/Joe Glendinning. Ryan Robinson/Adam Thompson had cut some of the route, but were the only Beginners to finish and took the class award.