IRDC at the Cotswold Economy Rally

As a complete departure from hard-core rally stages and tight timing of a traditional rally, the International Rally Drivers Club was pleased to support the gentile 15th Cotswold Economy Drive, using a route through the very best of Gloucestershire and Oxfordshire Cotswold countryside.

The Economy Drive, sponsored once again by popular on-line classic motorsport magazine Retro-Speed and supported by both the International Rally Drivers Club and Lancia Motor Club, enjoyed wonderful weather as crews issued forth on Sunday morning from the stunning Mill House Hotel at Kingham with navigators ready to explore Peter Baker's circuitous and picturesque 105 mile route; some doing more exploring than others!

After 55 miles a temporary truce was called on proceedings while lunch was taken at Eynsham Hall, another fine hotel, situated on the A4095 Bicester road, the weather had become even warmer providing competitors with the perfect excuse to enjoy the sumptuous surroundings of the venue and camaraderie of fellow drivers and only gentle persuading from marshals enticed them back into their cars for the afternoon route which led competitors via a series of checks and controls through the Gloucestershire segment of the glorious Cotswolds'.

Following the mandatory fuel top-up and declaration, weary competitors gravitated to the splendid Dumbleton Hall in Worcestershire where pre-event estimates of mpg were checked by the Results Team who undertook the task of adding and subtracting predicted from actual fuel using a complicated formula handed down from father to son. A percentage error of less than 1 per cent meant that competitors went home with a gold award.

In fact only one gold medal was presented to Tim Heath and Sarah Heath-Brook, whose Lancia Fulvia HF 1600 achieved an average within .082 percent of their pre-start estimate. Three silvers were awarded; Wim & Eddie Clijsen - Porsche 911, Roger & Margaret Millican - VW 1303 Cabriolet and Tony Huggett & Rita Wilson - Sunbeam Rapier. For the record the Bentley Arnage averaged 14.19mpg and a Mini put in the best score of the day at 42.56mpg.

After the gongs were presented it was time for the satisfied ensemble to bid each other farewell and bring the curtain down on the 15th Cotswold Economy Drive, all promising to return again next year. For a thoroughly enjoyable day out driving your classic on some of the most charismatic British country roads with an element of competition thrown in for good measure, it cannot be beaten. Don't miss the 16th Cotswold Economy Drive 17th August 2014.

21st August, 2013