Organiser: Royal Automobile Club/HERO Date: July 13-18 Where: England/Wales Championships:
HERO Cup Route: 1000 Miles Starters: 42.
John Abel/Martyn Taylor made it two wins out of two when they repeated last year’s
winning success on the second running of revived 1000 Mile Trial. The event is a
collaboration between the Royal Automobile Club and HERO and commemorates the original
1000 Mile Trial run by the RAC in 1900. This year’s event was run over six days;
starting and finishing at the Royal Automobile Club at Woodcote. In between competitors
tackled a route that took them as far north as Derbyshire and also into Wales. There
were tests at Bicester Heritage Centre, Shelsley Walsh and Goodwood amongst other
At the end of a short day won the eventual winners, running in a Lagonda LG45, shared
the lead with Paul Crosby/Andy Pullan, who were competing in HERO Arrive & Drive
AC March 16/80 Special. The latter crew having already taken three victories, including
the Three Castles Trial, this year. The Whyte sisters in the little Austin Seven
Super; they had run out of fuel – the car’s tank only holds three gallons – and when
they were offered a top up by another competitor the contents of the container turned
out to be water. They were OTL by time they reached Tylney Hall. Urs Mezger/Denise
Mezger were also late here as they struggled with electrical in their Morgan 3 Wheeler.
Jane Wignall/Kevin Savage had been expected to go well on the event but a myriad
of technical problem meant that they had to cut route and seek mechanical assistance.
By the finish of Day Two, which was taken at Coombe Abbey on the outskirts of Coventry,
the lead was held by William Medcalf/Dan Harrison. Abel/Taylor had lost the lead
after picking up a 10 second penalty for failing to stop astride a timing line at
an Intermediate Timing Point. This left them in a three way tie for second place,
three seconds off the lead. They shared second with Crosby/Pullan and the Riley Brookland
9hp of Robert Crofton/Fred Bent. Sadly this day saw the retirement of the Mezger’s
Morgan as their electrical problems continued.
Medcalf/Harrison maintained their lead on Day Three which finished in Chester. Crosby/Pullan
lay in second, two seconds behind, with Abel/Taylor in third a further two seconds
back. These three crews were now clear of the field. Unable to make it to the overnight
halt was the Alvis of Richard Dresner/Colin Mackenzie; their car suffered a broken
Day Four took competitors into Wales and proved to be vital for the outcome of the
Trial. Medcalf/Harrison were caught out by a timing point on the section around Lake
Vyrnwy and picked up a massive 48 second penalty at one control. By the overnight
halt at Chateau Impney in Droitwich Abel/Taylor had regained the lead and weren’t
to lose it again. John Ruston/Jeremy Haylock were now in second as Crosby/Pullan
fell to third after a text maximum early in the day.
Crofton/Bent continued their successful outing. They had dropped to sixth by the
end of Day For, this was largely due to failing brakes, which made the descent from
the Long Mynd interesting. Unfortunately they encountered dynamo problems on Day
Five and had to miss a number of controls. They eventually finished in 12th position.
Day Five saw Abel/Taylor consolidating their lead and interest moved to the battle
for the runner up spot. Medcalf/Harrison, thanks partly to excellent test performances
which saw them fastest in class on all but two tests, ended Day Five tied in second
place with Crosby/Pullan. The matter was decided on the final day. Medcalf/Harrison
drew in front after a series of tests at Goodwood but more significantly Crosby/Pullan
were delayed by non-competing traffic on the final regularity and dropped 21 seconds
at one control.
A final run down the Captain’s Drive at Woodcote, a reverse of the opening test,
was followed by a ceremonial finish in front of the Clubhouse, with all but six cars
completing the 1000 mile route.