The low hanging 1960 Austin Healey 3000 of Sarah and Ken Binstead has pulled out a lead of 1m 05 seconds despite a squashed exhaust bracket yesterday and having its clutch bled on Monday night at Pamplona. Back into second place are Dick and Harry Baines in their Mini Cooper S after a pit stop in the drive of someone’s house to change a flat pierced by a piece of jagged metal yesterday, being baulked today on the test, and then missing a control to avoid a truck, reversing back but still losing time. They took second at the expense of overnight second place stars Sally and Nigel Woof who delivered their best ever performance only for their 1963 Alfa Giulia Sprint to break its transmission on Monday on another steep climb in the Pyrenees. The car will be delivered by rescue truck whilst the crew intend to finish the rally in a hire car. A sad yet proud end to their great team effort.
Stephen Owens and Pete Johnson are back in third place in the Porsche 911 SWB, 29 seconds behind the Mini but only 11 seconds in front of Nick Maris and Henry Carr in the Datsun 240Z, a battle which has been shaping up for the last two days.
The performance of the day with just 18 seconds of penalties went to Susan and Derek Skinner in their Porsche 912, placing the Scottish couple in the top ten.
FIVA Andorra and Steward Antonio Arderiu Freixa have been incredibly helpful and welcoming to both HERO-ERA and the London Lisbon crews. From welcome packs to vehicle parking and security, FIVA have worked enthusiastically with the HERO-ERA Competition Department. Antonio extended further help on Monday after Catherine Harrison the navigator of the LaFrance fell ill with the one day bug that hit some of the London Lisbon rallyists, including drone pilot Tim Berridge. John Harrison was looking to get his LaFrance flat bedded to Pamplona as he had no navigator. Step up to the plate Antonio. He drove Catherine from Andorra to Pamplona in his car, leading and guiding John driving solo in the 1917 Leviathan behind him. “John was reaching speeds of 120 kph, I had to keep my foot down” enthused the FIVA Steward.
Antonio Arderiu Freixa, FIVA Steward. “Well, FIVA Andorra has been discovered since 1994. I think the auto run of antique vehicles is representative of what we do to protect but also to promote. We do rallies and operations, this year we’ve helped the London Lisbon, we have the big Tour Auto coming soon, we have Rally Andorra in September and then the Winter Rally in December, which is all snow.
“We were here for the welcome and arrival then the start from at eight o’clock in the morning, and then we went to Pamplona for overnight. It was about 400 kms And it’s it’s a very good job, we like working with HERO-ERA.
Sarah and Ken Binstead, 1st overall. Austin Healey 3000
Sarah talking about Sunday: “It’s been much tougher this morning. It hasn’t been as easy going, It’s been hard keeping to the time, overall it was a lot more challenging day.”
Ken continued on day four analysis; “Yes, we lost a few seconds this morning. It’s not been quite a car crash, but we probably slipped away a little bit this morning, but hopefully not tomorrow. Everyone had exactly the same thing. We just weren’t quite on it for some reason but the tests are fine, the car loves them. It’ll take that all day long.
“We’re probably not going to be the fastest round the tracks by quite a way. But a second place there or even a third is not going to harm our prospects.”
Will Rutherford, Deputy Clerk of the Court for London Lisbon
Will has played a major part in the route design of London Lisbon and is working on the event;
“I’m pleased the sun came out, that helped to keep everybody happy. We have put a lovely route together, but in the design we have tried to add enough competition to keep everybody on their toes but also make it enjoyable at the same time. 10 days is a long time in a car, so it has to be fun at the same time,
“We are all happy with the feedback from the competitors so far, they seem happy. They really seemed to enjoy going up into Andorra last night, which was a new experience for this event. So yes, feedback seems to be good. We’re halfway now so hopefully we’ll keep them happy.
“We were manning one of the controls today. It was a little bit tricky to find the controls for some of the competitors. There were a few incidents, one example was when Guy Woodcock was sitting on the boot of the car when it started rolling down the hill! A few of the crews overshot the junction but the control was there, it wasn’t really a trick, it wasn’t meant to be anyway, but I think we puzzled a few after a tiring morning.
“Then someone seemed to go backwards into a ditch. They managed to reverse backwards into the ditch which we kind of watched in slow motion really, but couldn’t do anything about! It was a bit of a shock but they were both OK and we pulled them out. It was all good and their car is fine, as they headed off to Pamplona!”
Susan and Derek Skinner, Porsche 912, 10th overall. Best performance of the day
Susan; “Well, I have to say it’s also down to Derek’s driving. I don’t know how he does it because it’s really tough driving on some of those roads. We did well, we just need some of the same for the next five days, it would be very nice if we could just keep it clean like that.”
Derek, “Susan really did a great job, she’s made it all work today. There was fantastic scenery with great roads, the route has been just breathtaking. So we’ve had a great, great day and we started well and built on that which was gave us reassurance, it was lovely. It was fantastic with very little traffic, really enjoyable. You can really get going and they’ve been so quiet we’ve not really come across much traffic in the roads, it has been an absolute delight.
“Everyone’s been looking after us remarkably well for the whole thing. It’s just been great.”
Graeme Presswell and Phil Cottam, VW Golf GTi
Graeme, “This is the first time we’ve ever gone backwards into a ditch by reversing, I have to admit! In my defence the roof headlining has come loose in the car was blocking my view, I thought I was going back straight but I wasn’t. The ditch just swallowed the car whole! Fortunately the mechanical assistance crews were there and two very good guys who knew how to get a car out of a ditch were there as well. They did an excellent job, we were out in about 15 minutes!”
Phil; “It wasn’t so much of a fright as a disappointment because we’d been having a good run over there. We had a couple of fours and we were going well and I knew where it was, but you couldn’t actually see the control. Loads of people apparently had missed it but we learned a bit more today, and now at least you can laugh about it now, especially as the car isn’t too badly damaged.”
Graeme; “We have really enjoyed the rally, it has been brilliant. Anyone who says regularity is boring hasn’t done one. The particular roads in the last two days have been really good fun. Very, very quick. You have to be quick and very precise. I’m really well pleased with the event so far, plus we’re getting better at it.
Phil; ”In its way it’s a bit like calling notes on a stage rally because you have got to keep calling all the right information all the time. You know, where are we? What speed are we doing? What time should we be in the next control? So I do find in actual fact I keep my head down because I’m just wanting to give him the information. So in some respects, it’s very similar, but it is a huge number of things to think about. Great fun though.
“This car has a little bit of regularity rallying history, it used to belong to Pete Johnson, who is navigating on this event, he sold it to entrepreneur Roger Bricknell, who has been a good man in all of this, thank you Roger for all the help.
“I bought it from Roger but what I didn’t realise was that I wasn’t just buying the car, I was buying a mentor as well. He’s been fantastic. So yes, that’s what Roger has been, a great help as he’s been a brilliant for us. I have this feeling that he’s sitting there at home watching the results come in and going nuts because of our average performance!”