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The Flying Scotsman


12th-14th April 2024

Flying Scotsman 2024
Winners: Paul Dyas/Mark Appleton (Bentley Derby)
Photograph: © HERO-ERA/Will Broadbent

Organiser: HERO-ERA

Date: 12th-14th April 2024

Clerk of the Course: Guy Woodcock

Deputy Clerk of the Course: Andy Pullan & Andy Darlington

Route: 620 Miles - 13 tests, 15 regularities

Base: Carden Park to Glenagles

Starters: 59

The fourteenth running of the Flying Scotsman, an event open only to pre-War cars, started at Carden Park near Chester and finished, as tradition demands, at the Gleneagles Hotel.

A disappointing entry of just 53 cars took the start on Friday morning. These numbers were boosted by six cars that were competing in a 'Lite' Rally, where the contenders would only contest the tests and not the regularities. The low numbers were partly explained by a clash with the Goodwood Members Meeting, where a pre-War grid had been added for 2024.

The start numbers were immediately reduced by one, when a head gasket failure was diagnosed on the Ford Type 35 of Malcolm Dunderdale/Anita Wickins. They however stayed on the event, helping with the marshalling and received the Spirit of the Rally Award at the Finish.

From Carden Park there was a short run to the first test venue at Bolesworth Castle, where two tests were tackled.

In a sign of how the rally was to pan out, Theo Hunt/Jimmy Galliver (Frazer Nash TT Replica) were fastest on the first and left the venue with a one second lead over Paul Dyas/Mark Appleton (Bentley Derby).

Simon Arscott/Emily Anderson (Aston Martin Speed Model) were quickest on Test 1/2. This pair were in fourth place at the end of Day One, but were to suffer a head gasket failure early on Day Two. They tried to continue but had to throw in the towel before lunch on the second day.

In early problems was the newly-acquired Bentley 4½ Le Mans of Badawi Trail and Lima-Cape Horn winners, Filip Englen/Ann Gillis. An exhaust broke lose at Bolesworth and then they had clutch gremlins. This meant that they were late out of the morning coffee TC and, after countering further problems later in the day and were another team to pull out of Day Two.

The 2023 Flying Scotsman winners, Paul Crosby/Ali Procter (MG TB Supercharged), had a bad start when they were penalised 30 seconds for a jump start on Test 1/1. They got back by hitting everyone of the three timing points on Regularity 1/1, which ran to the east of Knutsford, exactly on time. They had recovered to sixth place by the lunch halt, but, on the start line of the first afternoon test the diff of MG blew and they were out. This did allow Procter to get an entry on the Shaw Trophy Targa, which ran two days later, and win it.

Two tests were tackled at Oulton Park; they had a common start, but different finishes. This saw a number of crews getting the split wrong and visiting the wrong finish. Hunt/Galliver were fastest on both tests, but had to share honours on the second with Dyas/Appleton. This gave the Frazer Nash the lead as the two crews had been level at the first regularity.

After a stop at Tabley House, where the chapel had been used for filming of the Peaky Blinders wedding, two more tests and regularities took the route to Lunch at Samlesbury Hall, near Myerscough College.

Flying Scotsman 2024
Second Placed: Kurt Vanderspinnen/Iain Tullie (Lea Francis Hyper)
Photograph: © HERO-ERA/Will Broadbent

Two regularities took the route north, the M6 being used to get competitors past the Manchester conurbation. Dyas/Appleton picked up eight seconds in penalties over the two regs, while Hunt/Galliver added 14 seconds to their total, giving the Bentley crew a clear lead at Lunch.

The ill-fated Arscott/Anderson Aston Martin was in third, nine seconds ahead of John Lomas/Pete Johnson (Riley Sprite). Kurt Vanderspinnen/Iain Tullie (Lea Francis Hyper) were in fifth, just a second ahead of the soon-to-retire Crosby/Procter.

The afternoon competition open with a fourth regularity. Vanderspinnen/Tullie were best here, while Dyas/Appleton extended their lead over Hunt/Galliver by a further two seconds.

This led to a gravel test at Lythe Fell, the testing stage for Russ Thompson, who was away taking second in class on the Rallynuts Severn Valley Stages on the weekend. Hunt/Galliver took four seconds back on Dyas/Appleton here, where these two crews took the top two times.

Three seconds were regained by the leaders on the final two regs of the day, leaving just a test at Glithwaitherigg, just north of Kendal. By their standards Dyas/Appleton had a disaster here as they initially headed for the wrong side of the cone; the delay meant that they were twentieth quickest. Fastest time on the test was a family affair with Hunt/Galliver sharing the honours with Martin Hunt/Robert Mannix (Frazer Nash BMW 328). Most significantly they were 11 seconds ahead of Dyas/Appleton, giving Hunt/Galliver the lead at the end of the Day.

At the Windermere overnight halt, Hunt/Galliver led Dyas/Appleton by eight seconds, while Lomas/Johnson had passed Arscott/Anderson for third place.

Day Two took the route from Windermere to Loch Lomond, via six tests and six regularities. As far as the top three places were concerned, they remained the same. However, Hunt/Galliver extended their advantage to 41 seconds, partly thanks to Dyas/Appleton gaining a line fault at the finish of the day's opening test. The Bentley pair were in turn over a minute ahead of third-placed Lomas/Johnson, who were now more concerned about being caught by Vanderspinnen/Tullie, who were now only seven seconds behind in fourth.

There were two tests at the Kames Circuit during the day; the two tests started at the same point, but diverged to different finishes; a number of crews got the split wrong ended at the wrong finish line. Significantly, these included Hunt/Mannix.

Flying Scotsman 2024
Third Placed: Clint Smith/Brad Smith (Bentley 3 Litre)
Photograph: © HERO-ERA/Will Broadbent

Day Three dawned in sunshine, but by the time that cars left the Cameron House start, it was raining. However, it looked as if Hunt/Galliver could possibly win the Flying Scotsman, having been third on the last three runnings of the event.

Two tests at the Rest & Be Thankful hill climb road had been planned, however a blockage on the main A83 road meant that the public were being diverted up the climb. The tests were cancelled and replaced with a regularity.

The dramas of the day started on the opening regularity when the Riley of Lomas/Johnson cut out. It got going again, but cut out several times more. A change of the coil failed to solve the problem, but a new fuel pump, fitted at the Inverary lunch halt, did get the running smoothly once more. However, they had had to cut route having lost time, so were now out of the running.

Then disaster struck as the Frazer Nash of Hunt/Galliver broke a driver shaft and the leaders were distraught and out of the rally.

Dyas/Appleton inherited the lead with an advantage of almost a minute and a half over Vanderspinnen/Tullie. Stephen Owens/Nick Bloxham (Jaguar SS100), who had been climbing up the leader board, should have now been third, but they had failed to book out of the time control at the Otter Ferry coffee halt; this added 30 minutes to their total and dropped to 37th place.

This meant that there was now a tight battle for the final podium place with Hunt/Mannix leading 1940 BTRDA Stage Champion Clint Smith and his son, Bard, by four seconds. Ultimately, Smith/Smith (Bentley 3 Litre) triumph snatching third place over the run to the finish at Gleneagles.

In contrast to the morning, the afternoon run, which included a tricky final regularity, which used farm tracks, caused no dramas and Dyas/Appleton came home to seal the win, having taken the final test at a very steady pace.

With Paul Dyas in first place and Clint Smith in third the results was highly reminiscent of a 1980s BTRDA Stage outcome.

Flying Scotsman 2024
Long time leaders: Theo Hunt/Jimmy Galliver (Frazer Nash TT Replica)
Photograph: © HERO-ERA/Will Broadbent