Experienced European rally competitors Seren and Elise Whyte were back teaching the tricks of the trade to a crowded house at the Vale Golf and Country Club on Friday. Both newbies and experienced crews sat in on three valuable sessions culminating in the final section dealing with the tricky stuff, some of which can catch crews out.
From triangles to No Entry warnings on road books, Seren and Elise used their own rallying errors to illustrate what traps to avoid. At one point Seren even discussed an incident when she was navigating on the London to Lisbon competing against her sister Elsie in a rival car, when she took her driver down a wrong track that ended up in a front garden along with many other errant competitors. That cost her team nearly 40 seconds, the same amount she lost to her sister and rival on the podium by the end of the event!
Elise; “I really feel that this academy has worked well, there were a lot of really detailed questions, many we didn’t expect. I find illustrating mistakes that we’ve made is a brilliant way to get people to learn, it means that they can see that nobody is perfect and that you can learn from your errors. There were quite a few attendees who were going on from today to take part in HERO Challenge Two on Saturday. For them, a lot of the lessons will be fresh in their minds so hopefully they will put them into practice on event.”
Nigel and Charlie Gostelow, HERO Arrive and Drive MGB. Father and son rallying together for the first time, Nigel; “ We are more ready than we would have been for tomorrow with these classes.” Charlie; “I learned about triangles, when you are doing a maths degree it’s handy.”
Neil Fruin, 1971 Reliant Scimitar SE5; “It was really useful, we haven’t done a rally before so we are going to be in a much better position than we would have been.” Ange was substituting for Newman Fruin at the last minute; “Newman, Neil’s son could get the day off today so I had to fill in for him! So when we see him later I’m going to have to pass on the knowledge!”
David Barkaway and Sean McDonough, 1975 MGB GT; David; “I learned that he has got most of the work to do on Saturday and I’ve got the easy job which is driving!” Sean; “Yes definitely, it’s been making my head hurt, but I learned some things. There are things that may be obvious to the initiated but I just haven’t considered, simple things such as renumbering the regularity columns and lines on the page every time. When it was explained by Elise it made it very clear.”
To further illustrate just how useful the HERO Training Academy was, champion driver and six times winner of the RAC Rally of the Tests, Paul Wignall was in attendance. He was with a new navigator Andrew Neate who Paul is hoping to bring on into the sport – the pair have ties!
Seren Whyte confirmed that this HERO Training Academy is the last one scheduled until early 2021, but admitted that due to their success, “we may have to organise another one before the end of the year.”
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