From the home of Historic Motoring at Bicester Heritage to the beating heart of British Motor Sport at Silverstone, that is the short journey the 93 crews will make on Saturday morning for the start of HERO Challenge Two.
Clerk of the Course, Seren Whyte, sums up what’s in store for the eager contestants!
“We’ve got a nice standard HERO Challenge event, nothing too tricky. If you did everything it says when it says to do it, you’ll be absolutely fine. It starts from Silverstone which is great because we’ve got all the motorsport connections there, although we can’t do anything competitive there, it is the spiritual home of Motor Sport so that will be motivational. We then go straight to Bill Gwynne’s for two tests on gravel that should be really great fun. Then straight into three regularities before coffee, but they’re short and sweet, just to get you into it. They are designed to slip you back into the game if you haven’t done them for a while.
“Then it calms down a little bit. So we’ve got coffee, two regularities and lunch by the side of a canal, then one regularity. Then we’re back to Bicester for four tests. After these tests, you get a little coffee break at the HEROICS cafe and then you go out for the last long, pretty epic regularity.
This will be almost an hour long and you will need to concentrate. This leads to the south of Bicester where we head back to Bicester Heritage to come back to for more tests. So it’s quite an intense way to finish but like I said, if you do exactly what you it says you should be absolutely fine!”
Andy and Joseph James, TVR Taimar
Joseph; “This is our very first time in a HERO-ERA event so we are looking forward to it!” To navigate here will be a challenge but we looked at last year’s rally. So that’s about it really, hopefully we’ll go alright on the day. There are some people we can ask hopefully, so that would be cool and helpful.”
Andy; “It was something recommended to us so we will see how it goes, we’ll see if we can keep the arguments down to a minimum!
“Hopefully I get the instructions on time although it’s unrealistic to tell him how to do to it. To be fair I was kind of like, you need to do this, you need to do that. It got to a point where he said, ‘Dad, just be quiet, I’ve got it covered’. In fairness, he did get the hang of the navigational equipment quite fast so we shall see at the end of the day. We’re gonna see where we go from here, we have booked October HC3 and hopefully there might be a three day version next year. If it goes well.”
Hannah Jenkins and Paul Hughes, Mercedes Benz 380 SL
Hannah; “Well, we did better on the Summer Trial than Novice Trial, and they are not so long ago so hopefully I can remember everything and put it into practice, but we are up for a bit of a challenge, it should be a nice combination of tests and regularities.”
Paul; “The tests are where we should be able to let it rip but then sometimes it’s a struggle. The regularities aren’t too bad, but tests are challenging for us.”
Hannah; “That’s because we don’t agree on the language, the abbreviations. Over there doesn’t really help Paul! It has been a challenging journey on a big learning curve, but I’m sure we can work some language out, we have been talking to other people who are very helpful.”
The Reverend Adam Gompertz, the Bicester Heritage Station Chaplain and REVS – ART illustrator, was a beguiled onlooker at scrutineering near the Bicester Heritage race track.
“Oh my there are so many cars I fancy, look at them! I can’t believe that somebody is actually doing the event in a Ferrari, which is amazing. That’s so cool, I love the variety. But I have to say I’m looking at some of these 911’s and thinking to rally a 911 on the HERO Challenge would be quite cool, wouldn’t it? But yeah, I mean, the variety is brilliant, the Volvos, the Ferrari, the Triumphs, and look over there is a Jaguar SS. Incredible really, so I guess you are all ready, it looks that way!”
The answer was in the affirmative but Revs was also reminded that he does a lot of work at Bicester, did he think it was really the epicentre of the historic motoring world?
Yeah, I mean, it’s car community isn’t it’, and great things happen when people come together and do cars as community stuff like this. All the events that happen at just two heritage rallies here and the work that you guys put in to put them on, even the single day events. So for me it’s great when people get together when there’s this kind of variety. And you get people kind of meeting each other, learning from each other. I’m sure that we’re swapping notes and things this weekend. Yeah, it’s just great to see!
“The REVS community exists to support people mentally and spiritually within the car community. Even just being visible on site here, being visible at events like this, then you take an active interest in people’s lives. And this is what’s so exciting for a petrol head like me. Brilliant.”
Jeff and Claire Clark, Porsche 911
Jeff; “ We are looking forward to the HERO challenge as we missed most of the last one on the Summer Trial when the throttle stuck open!.
Claire; “We certainly missed a lot of it but we’re all fixed and we’re good to go. However, it was a bit scary when the throttle stuck!”
Graham Parker and Neil Brown, MGB GT
Graham “We’re just trying to learn a bit more even though I have competed for many, many years. There were lots of events we have done and some are in my head, but we’re literally on a constant learning curve at the moment. I’m finding it difficult to slow down,”
Neil; “I going to try and keep him in check although the last event we did was the Summer Trial in 2019. So it’s a bit of a refresher, a bit of a calmer so we can get back into it. Well, it’s a refresher for the navigation and timing. I really need to get my head around it.”