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Solway Historic Rally and Solway Targa Rally Report

[W]igton Motor Club ran their final round of the Gates Tyres Historic Rally Awards on Sunday with the Solway Historic and Targa Rallies based at the Energus Centre in West Cumbria. Crews came from all over the north of England and Scotland for the event while three of the crews had been competing on the Mull Targa Rally on Friday and travelled down to Cumbria to compete again on Sunday.

From the excellent facilities at the Energus Centre the cars took part in fifteen tests during the day with the lunch and finish back at the Energus Centre. A last minute reroute was needed when a group of gypsies encamped at the entrance to one of the test venues. A brand-new venue was the former Alcan factory which proved some indoor tests thanks to the hard work of some of the WMC members who completely cleaned up the venue for the event. The event was supported by the Whitehaven development Corporation.

The event was led off by the oldest car in the event the 1937 Austin 7 of Dave and Pauline Nicholson while the most modern car of the Targa cars was the 2006 Toyota Celica of Nigel and Martyn Moffat.

The mixture of surface son the event provided a challenge for the drivers while some of the more complex tests taxed even the best of the navigators.

The Historic Solway was won by the experienced Escort crew of Dave Short and Roy Heath who had a 39 second margin over Lorton’s John & Marian Sloan in an MG Midget. The similar Austin Healey Sprite of The Byrne brothers were third overall.

In class H for the Pre- Historic cars Jim Hendry and Graham Couser from Fife were the winners in their Triumph TR2. Windermere’s Dave Alexander and Mark Humphries on the Historic H1 class in their Vauxhall Viva and H2 for the bigger engined cars was won by Egremont’s Dave Agnew and Alan Jackson.

The Post Historics class P1 was won by the Sloans in their well crewed MG Midget. And P2 was won by Andy Beaumont (fresh from his Mull win) and Tom Hutchings in their Sunbeam Rapier.

C1, the Classics up to 1400cc was won by the Garstang brothers in a Ford Fiesta and C2 was the father and son Jude family (Ray and Ben) win in their spectacular Triumph TR7 V8.

The final class for the Post Classics saw Start Wilson and Sam Colman win in their Triumph TR7.

The Solway Targa Rally was closely fought with just a handful of seconds separating the winners. Harrington’s Chris Hunter and Fiona Tyson won in a Mazda MX5 from John Hill/Michael pears in a Corsa who won Class T2. Class T1 was won by the Corsa of Helen Harkness and Barry Lindsay from Brampton. Second in T2 were Simon Jennings and Clive White in a Peugeot 106 and third in T2 were Paul and Esther Bowness form Gilcrux in an MX5.

The event raised money for the Wigton Motor Club’s nominated charities, West House and Hospice at Home.