Winning regularity rally navigator and Rallies Executive for Motorsport UK, Iain Tullie, helped driver Tony Jardine beat a slipping clutch and failing brakes to score a fine 12th Historic home in scorching heat and thick dust which covered almost everything, but failed to conceal their pleasure at finishing the Nicky Grist Stages.
A brake pipe had been smashed off by a stone and oil from a leaking engine seal was spraying onto the clutch in the four morning stages of Epynt and Crychan forest. Whilst the team could fix the brakes at lunchtime service, they didn’t have time to remove the gearbox to fix the leaking seal and prevent the clutch spinning up. Iain had to jump out before each of the afternoon’s four stages to strategically spray the clutch with degreaser via a small opening in the bell housing. This undoubtedly helped the crew get the NET-HERO 1973 Hillman Avenger across the finish line in Builth Wells on Saturday afternoon.
Competing in the rally amongst six championships, including the top echelon British Rally Championship, Iain was able to gain an insight into UK rallying from the competitor’s perspective. He was competing in the NET-HERO carbon offset Avenger team, which together with the Geoff Jones Motorsport team running the car, were all carbon neutral for the event via the carbon credits purchased.
Iain Tullie; commented “It was fantastic to be back out competing on a stage rally again after six years. Tony drove well all day, especially considering the technical challenges we had on the morning loop. In the afternoon we were able to push a bit more and got into a good rhythm. Our aim was to finish so we were happy with the result and enjoyed the day.
“The strong entry on the event was great to see, especially with the current fuel and energy price situation. That’s a big consideration for officials and marshals too, so thanks to all of them, without their support the event would not have happened.
“One of the biggest challenges facing motorsport is sustainability. Motorsport UK is working hard on frontline solutions and reductions and there are several reputable schemes out there.
“I was happy to be involved with the NET-HERO team on this event.”
Tony Jardine added; “It was a real coup to get Iain to co drive for me, he is incredibly busy running UK rallying, plus I didn’t think he would consider revisiting the front line of stage rallying in the hot seat, but he did, which was brilliant. After recent engine issues plus a change of team, it was a target shared by Iain Tullie for us just to finish the event at all!
“To do that by beating the technical traps laid in our path was a huge bonus as I thought early on that the clutch was about to let go altogether, then to suddenly feel the discomfort of a brake pedal plunging to the floor, I definitely thought our number was up.
“Iain is a great winning navigator in historic regularity rallying with HERO-ERA, but now I have been able to sample his expertise as a special stage codriver and my goodness he was on it. He gave me great confidence, he never missed a call, his accurate note calling through blankets of dust hanging in the forest allowed me to keep up the pace whilst he never missed a second in timing. I hope we can partner up again.
“Finally I want to thank Ivor Clark who performed a remarkable job in rebuilding the engine at such short notice, the Chrysler 1600cc GT engine which now produces great power through the rev range. Complicit in that was Peter Jones of Jondel Racing Engines who pulled a rabbit out of the hat to find all the right parts for the engine and then made space in the busy test schedule so the engine could go on the Dyno. Geoff Jones Motorsport were equally wonderful in stepping in to coordinate the activities and run the car on the Nick Grist Stages and for the foreseeable future.”
The next event for the NET-HERO team will be the Woodpecker Stages Rally on September 3rd. For further information please contact Tony Jardine on 07989 408736, firstname.lastname@example.org
Photographs by – Russ Otway, Malcolm Almond and Jon Price
*Please note that Motorsport UK does not endorse any particular environmental sustainability programme or system, but rather encourages initiatives that contribute to carbon emissions reduction as part of its overall target for Motorsport UK to reach net-zero. Motorsport UK is committed to global sustainability, aligned with FIA Environmental Strategy.