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News

Mea-14-0126
Friday 16 January 2015

65th Anniversary of the Measham Rally to kick start the 2015 Season this weekend

A wintry North Yorkshire awaits those hardy souls heading to the picturesque surroundings of Thirsk for the Vintage Sports-Car Club’s traditional season opener, the Measham Rally, taking place overnight this coming weekend, the 17/18 January.
65 years since the inaugural event in 1950, the Measham remains a seminal fixture on the Club’s calendar and the ultimate challenge of Pre-war machine and crew. Interestingly, it was not until its second year that the now integral overnight navigation element was introduced, with the 1929 Bentley of F.E. Day claiming the first ever Measham Trophy victory.

Starting and finishing at the Thirsk Farmers’ Auction Mart to the south-west of the town, competitors this year face a route of approximately 180 miles with the lead car setting off at 9.00pm. The timely arrival of the recent seasonal weather will ensure they face testing conditions through the night, with a welcome halfway-halt before the anticipated finish back at event headquarters from 5.00am.

Following an impressive four consecutive victories at the wheel of his 1927 Alvis 12/50, John Potter takes on the mantle of Clerk of the Course, paving the way for a new winner in this historic milestone year. He is assisted by long-time Club Navigator, Brian Hughes as his deputy and regular Rally team, Jonathan and Sue Swales, who take on the challenging Chief Marshal roles, whilst VSCC Competition Secretary Richard Winchester travels from the Club’s Oxfordshire headquarters to oversee administrative proceedings.

The event entry boasts the usual eclectic mix of Pre-war Touring and Sports-Cars across the classes from the 1924 Vauxhall 30/98 of Phil Dobbin through to Martin Jelley’s 1939 Citroen Traction Avant. They both will tackle the longer route for the Fast Speed Category cars, where Pre-1931 Vintage entrants will vie for the revered Measham Trophy, such as Gareth Frank and Ian Tullie in the Lea-Francis W Type, Harry and Emily Fraser in their Alvis 12/50 and reigning Hill Climb champion James Baxter, who swaps the hot-seat of an ERA for the Chrysler 70 Sedan, navigated by Club President, Tim Kneller.

Meanwhile, those PVT crews will compete for the Richard Dames-Longworth Trophy, including Ray Edge, who gives a first ‘Measham’ outing to his latest Derby Bentley alongside David Kirkham as navigator and perennial VSCC Rally challengers, Mark Garfitt and Dood Pearce in the dependable Frazer Nash/BMW, with two father/son Riley crews also amongst the ranks in Richard and Tom White’s Kestrel and the Twelvetrees Monaco.

As is tradition, there will be a slightly shorter route on offer for those Expert and Semi-Expert entrants in Vintage Light Cars; they include the team of John Fort and Howard Atkins, who will be eager to defend their Jeddere-Fisher Trophy crown in their Riley 9. The Novice and Champagne Classes will also face the shorter route, with a particular nod to all Measham ‘first-timers’, including Christopher and Jane Berridge in their Austin 12/4 Clifton Tourer, Brian Rivett and Charles Ping in the Alvis Speed 20 and the Austin 7 65 Sports of locally-based team, Derek and Malcolm Sparks.

We would like to wish all crews, the organising team and other officials of the event the best of luck for what will undoubtedly be a most enjoyable event but perhaps save the biggest ovation for the band of volunteer marshals, both Club Members and Non-Members alike, who will be out running the controls along the route throughout the night!
VSCC

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