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Chocks away for the Bespoke Rallies Spitfire Scramble Rally at Sywell Aerodrome

Thirty crews took the start of Bespoke Rallies’ Spitfire Scramble at Sywell Aerodrome on 29 April, a mixture of experienced and new crews in cars as diverse as a 1922 Vauxhall 30/98 and 2004 Bentley Continental. The route covered 390km over two days with a mixture of regularity and consistency tests.

A contributed piece written by Keith Mainland

Day one saw the experienced local crew of Mike Bletsoe-Brown and Richard Lambley take the lead in their Volvo Amazon with only 52 penalties, followed closely by Chris Chapman and David Broome in a BMW 323 on 58 penalties with Graham and Sally Clapp in the Bentley Continental third on 69 penalties. In the tests, Angus Watts was always near the front in his ex-works Peugeot 205 Rallye co-driven by Angelica Fuentes. He was however bettered on a mixed grass/ gravel test by the big Bentley with Graham and Sally Clapp rounding out a good day by winning the code board contest as well. There was a hearty dinner for the competitors in Sywell’s art-deco hotel with much story telling and comparison of war stories in the bar afterwards.

Bespoke Rallies has developed their own ‘Virtual Marshall’ app that takes the pressure out of road sections by allowing competitors to enter regularity sections in their own time. The system worked well throughout, although day two had to be curtailed because of a road closure that was discovered with too little time to effectively plot and arrow a diversion for competitors.

The final tests at the aerodrome required competitors to match their times from day one. At the end of the day the Bletsoe-Brown/Lambley Volvo won out again and took overall honours with an impressively low 76 penalties for the whole event. Second overall on 166 penalties were Les and Dee Searle who climbed the leaderboard from ninth on day one in their 1942 Willys Jeep. Third overall with 392 penalties was the expertly driven 1923 Bentley of Matthew Beddall and Robert Bill, climbing the leaderboard from 20th on day one. There was a five-way tie in the code board contest which was decided in favour of day one winners Graham and Sally Clapp for their 100% record.


All in all, competitors reported a well run, enjoyable event with most looking forward to one of Bespoke Rallies’ longer events later in the year. Full details on www.bespokerallies.com

Photography: Paul Freeman Photography


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