Photos by Blue Passion Photo – Click here for more
It was a Porsche 911 SWB that was triumphant in the 2018 HERO Winter Challenge to Monte-Carlo, with Daniel Gresly and Elise Whyte putting in a commanding performance throughout the event. The Triumph 2.5 PI of Jonathan Hancox and Richard Lambley was second, with the Porsche 2.7 Carrera of Paul Bloxbridge and Ian Canavan in third. Hero stalwarts Dermot Carnegie and Paul Bosdet in their Beetlebacked Volvo PV544 had to settle for fourth place in the end after leading the point tables in the early part of the week, despite having steam pouring from the car off the start but it was a missed junction which costed them dearly knocking them off the top spot from where they never returned.
This year the route started in Le Touquet and headed south but went higher than recent years into the Alps over classic Cols such as Col du Tormalet and Mont du Chat, with a tricky night section in the Ardeche Region all finishing with the climb to the Col de Turini and the final nights stay and grand arrival at the Fairmont Hotel in Monte Carlo.
It was back luck for Tony Sheach and Rachel Wakefield who experienced a king pin failure in their Triumph TR4 on the early stages dropping them right down the order, but great to see an old friend the green Rover P4 100 back out in business with Liam Hammond and Mark Simpson giving it a run – winning the ‘Against All Odds prize.
Talking about their first Winter Challenge we spoke to Liam Hammond about their run in the Rover P4 100 he said “We were fondly referred to as Toad and Ratty do France by our friends. But the car never failed us except for needing a bungy strap as a clutch pedal return spring. We had only done one small introduction day to the sport day before this rally so we didn’t really have much idea what we were letting ourselves in for.”
“We met some great people on the rally and even formed our own team a Bristol driven by the MD of Cosworth, a Healey 3000 by a corporate lawyer who never done anything like this before, but his navigator had, and us. We were the antidote to the cars that were trying get their timings to the second.”
“We were planning to share the driving and navigation, but it soon became clear that Mark is as blind as a bat with small maps, has no special awareness, and cannot read a map if there are no road signs. Well he is an accountant by trade! The car was recognised by many on the rally, and one of the mechanics remembers it on the Peking to Paris.”
“Next? – We have eyes on doing another rally, in Iceland, next year – That should be good.”
Full results and more photos can be found here