The 4th Alpine Trial 2018
3 - 5 September 2018
The 4th Alpine Trial 2018 – 3-5 September 2018
The Alpine Trial Introduction
Since its first edition in 2014 the Alpine Trial has become the premier event for those wishing to sample the finest alpine motoring on a route designed by Keith Baud specifically for vintage motorcars. Three days of glorious open road motoring among friends and like minded enthusiasts tackling a competitive and challenging route while feasting your senses overlooked by the spectacular Alpine peaks.
The International Alpine Trials of the 1920s and 1930s sparked a new kind of rallying and this event remains steadfastly true to its roots. Navigating from daily route books, comprising tulip diagrams and detailed maps, participants tackle a traditional blend of Regularities, Tests and Time Control Sections as they strive for a coveted Alpine Cup.
Primarily designed for cars built before 1948, the 2018 Alpine Trial introduces the ‘Alpine Trophy’ – an exciting new category for sports cars built between 1949 and 1962. Although not competing directly with the Vintage and Vintageant crews, participants in this category will follow the same route and time schedule while competing for their own Alpine Trophy awards.
The Alpine Echo – News from the Alpine Trial
Click the image left or the link below to find our first Alpine Echo newsletter of 2018. Keith Baud & Anthony Preston take the opportunity to indroduce some of the participants and look forward to this friendly, competitive September event. Keith Baud also adds a little Alpine Trial history and encourages some light hearted international rivalry in anticipation of the popular Nations Cup competition.
Following the success of the 2016 event, the “Alpine” will again start in the little known French spa town of Divonne-les-Bains. Sandwiched between the Jura Mountains and Lake Geneva. Divonne is located just 20 minutes from Geneva with its extensive airport and transport links and provides the perfect pre-start location. Our Rally Headquarters for the first two nights will be the Domaine de Divonne, a beautiful 19th century Art-Deco hotel set quietly in 60 hectares of private parkland.
Day one gets underway exploring the rural highways and byways of the Jura Mountains. We head north along the Franco-Swiss border and explore a succession of beautiful mountain plateaux before lunch at a traditional Auberge. In the afternoon, the mountain ridges rise higher, the limestone gorges plunge deeper and the roads become more challenging. As we turn to return southwards, Lake Geneva comes into view and we head back to Divonne for the night.
Day two follows the parallel ridges of the southern Jura to cross the Rhone and climb into the Bugey region, west of Aix-les-Bains where we drive far into the spectacular Alpine landscape with beautful and tranquil meadows contrasting with deep and dramatic gorges. As the day progresses, the ascents become more demanding with some famous climbs featuring along the route. After cresting the final rise, an easy cross country run transports us to a well-deserved rest at the luxurious Hotel L’Imperial Palace on the shores of beautiful Lake Annecy.
Day three, the final day, will be spent tackling the high passes of the Savoie Alps under the gaze of mighty Mont Blanc. While this area will be familiar to some, there are still new roads to be enjoyed and all offer fine mountain motoring and superb scenery.
Once back at Rally HQ, the event closes with a prize-giving ceremony and Gala Dinner – a perfect way to unwind and share your Alpine adventure with fellow competitors.
Following a detailed, November 2017, route survey by Keith Baud and Anthony Preston a broader route outline is now on The Route page.
Call or email the Rally Office to obtain all the details so that we can send you the event brochure and an entry application form.
The entry fee includes bed and breakfast for two nights at the Domaine de Divonne followed by two nights at the Hotel l’Impérial Palace in either a double or twin bedded room – there is a supplement for single rooms. The entry also includes three on-rally lunches and four group dinners, including our Welcome Dinner and the Prize-Giving Gala Dinner on the final night. Route books with maps, rally plates, number roundels, ID tags will also be supplied.
Once you’ve secured your place on the entry list we really want to help you to enjoy the whole experience and to reach the finish. To this end the ERA are always available to answer you questions and on the event we are proud provide the support of our dedicated team of what we strongly believe to be the best travelling mechanics in Historic Rallying to ensure that expert assistance is never far away.
Talk to us, we are here to help. Call +44 (0)1235 831221 or email [email protected]
The 4th Alpine Trial 2018 – Participants
updated 17th August 2018
|1||Graham Goodwin(GB) / Marina Goodwin(GB)||1925 – Bentley Super Sports||5300|
|4||Bill Cleyndert(GB) / Matt Abrey(GB)||1929 – Ford Model A Special||3300|
|5||James Rosenmeyer(GB) / Aoife Rosenmeyer(IRL)||1929 – Lea Francis Hyper||1496|
|7||Jonathan Procter(GB) / Jason Dearden(GB)||1932 – Frazer Nash TT REP||1496|
|8||Roland D’Ieteren(B) / Dominique Gasse(F)||1932 – Alfa Romeo 1750GS||1750|
|9||Beat Hirs(CH) / Peter Weigelt(CH)||1932 – Alvis Speed 20||3571|
|10||Peter Kite(GB) / Robert Ellis(GB)||1933 – Frazer Nash BMW 319/55||1971|
|11||Wilfried Schaefer(D) / Sandra Hubner(D)||1934 – Talbot 105 Alpine||3300|
|12||Andrew Boland(IRL) / Ann Boland(IRL)||1934 – Talbot AV105||3400|
|14||Richard Dresner(GB) / Colin Mackenzie(GB)||1934 – Talbot AV105||2996|
|15||Jean Vincent(B) / Caroline Vergotte(B)||1934 – Bentley Speed Six||6597|
|16||Urs Mezger(CH) / Maxime Mezger(CH)||1935 – Lagonda M45R||4500|
|17||Tim Fuller(GB) / Sue Fuller(GB)||1935 – Riley 12/4 Special||1500|
|19||Willy Van Loon(B) / Chris Torfs(B)||1935 – Bentley Derby 3½||3600|
|21||Chris Abrey(GB) / Sara Banham(GB)||1936 – BMW 328||1971|
|22||Brian Scowcroft(GB) / Harvey Scowcroft(GB)||1936 – Chevrolet Fangio Coupe||3300|
|23||Jim Clarke(GB) / Tanya Clarke(GB)||1936 – Ford Coupe||3700|
|25||Jim Gately(USA) / Tony Brooks(GB)||1937 – Cadillac||5670|
|26||Clint Smith(GB) / Patrice Boilletot(F)||1938 – Jaguar SS100||3500|
|27||Carlos Rieder(CH) / Melvin Rieder(CH)||1939 – Buick Century||5200|
|28||Colin Winkelman(NL) / Mark Winkelman(NL)||1939 – BMW 327/328 Coupe||1971|
|31||Michael Kershaw(GB) / Nicholas Kershaw(GB)||1947 – HRG 1500||1496|
|32||Rene Backx(B) / Jef Augustyns(B)||1947 – Bentley Special Speed 8||6597|
|34||Keith Wickham(GB) / Brian Spearman(GB)||1948 – Bentley Open Tourer||4256|
|35||Kate Wickham(GB) / Sophie Wickham(GB)||1948 – MG TC||1250|
|36||Julie Holroyd(GB) / Olivia Holroyd(GB)||1948 – MG TC Midget Sports||1250|
|37||Pat Bridgeman(GB) / Tina Bridgeman(GB)||1950 – Bentley Sports||5775|
|38||Bernd Dannenmaier(D) / Christiane Dannenmaier(D)||1956 – Porsche 356A Speedster||1600|
|39||Jaime Pueche(E) / Gregorio Esteban(E)||1950 – Jaguar XK120||3400|
|40||Kelly Stuhlinger(CH) / Arthur Stuhlinger(CH)||1952 – Jaguar XK120 OTS||3442|
|41||Bill Holroyd(GB) / Harri Holroyd(GB)||1953 – Frazer Nash Sebring||1971|
|42||Stefan Costermans(B) / Mauri Costermans(B)||1954 – Aston Martin DB 2/4 DHC||2922|
|43||Deborah Lloyd(GB) / Simon Arscott(GB)||1958 – AC Ace||1991|
|44||Colin Weekley(GB) / Veronica Weekley(GB)||1960 – Austin Healey 3000||3000|
|45||Hampi Durrer(CH) / Joe Dillier(CH)||1960 – Jaguar||3800|
|46||Mick de Haas(NL) / Grace de Haas(NL)||1961 – Porsche 356B||1600|
|47||Richard Nicholl(GB) / Victoria Nicholl(GB)||1962 – Jaguar E-Type||3800|
|48||Steve Charnock(GB) / Debbie Charnock(GB)||1962 – Porsche 356||1720|
|49||Tony Mather(GB) / Pauline Mather(GB)||1969 – Citroen DS Decapotable||2100|
|50||Julian Riley(GB) / Bill Hoff(USA)||1955 – Triumph TR2||2000|
The 4th Alpine Trial 2018 – Route Outline
Motor rallies have been run in the Alps since the early 20th Century. While many of the famous Alpine routes of old are now major trunk roads, we have used our extensive knowledge to find little known mountain by-ways that still evoke that pioneering era of Alpine motoring. True to its historic roots, the 2018 ‘Alpine’ will ensure competitors enjoy great driving roads, magnificent scenery and a challenging time schedule.
As in previous years, the 2018 Alpine Trial is divided into three distinct ‘loops’, each one designed to give you the full flavour of this beautiful and interesting area of France. We have included enough time in the daily schedule to allow for a refreshment halt in the morning and afternoon, plus a longer stop for lunch. These are often in traditional wayside establishments, which help add character to the event as well as giving much welcome trade to remote rural communities.
Like the 2016 edition Alpine, the 2018 Alpine Trial starts from Divonne-les-Bains, a quiet unassuming spa town about 20km north of Geneva airport. Once again the Rally Headquarters is in the comforatble Art-Deco splendour of the Domaine-de-Divonne which, with its adjoining casino, was originally built to cater for the gambling habits of the Swiss just over the border. This hotel provides the perfect base for two nights as we explore the delights of the Jura Mountains before moving to the Hôtel L’Impérial Palace in Annecy for the final sections in Haute-Savoie. As usual, all liaison sections will be navigated using a Tulip Routebook. However, in keeping with Alpine rally tradition, the Regularity and Alpine Sections use traditional maps with the route clearly pre-marked on them.
Day One: Monday 3 September – Parc Naturel Régional du Haut-Jura – 290km
If you don’t want to go into Switzerland there are only two ways out of Divonne-les-Bains, and both involve climbing the 1500m high ridge of the Monts Jura that lies immediately to the west of Divonne.
However, once over the top, you emerge onto a high plateau of rich pasture and dark forests bisected by deep river valleys and flanked by towering limestone cliffs. Sweeping their way through this scenic landscape are a network of empty roads that are just perfect for vintage motoring.
In winter, the Jura is a bare, lonely landscape, favoured by cross country skiers rather than their more glamorous downhill counterparts. However, in summer these lush pastures come alive with wild flowers while in autumn the surrounding forests are a blaze of colour. Montbeliarde and Simmental cows graze leisurely in the fields, their milk going mainly into the production of Comte cheese for which the area is famous. It was among these herds and the vineyards around his home town of Arbois, that locally born Louis Pasteur did much of his research, although ironically traditional Comte is made from unpasteurised milk.
A couple of morning regularities take us to a welcome coffee break on the banks of the Ain, before we move into the lanes to the west of the river for the first, timed to the minute, Alpine Section of the event. This sees us circling back to enjoy lunch and a test near Moirans-en-Montagne, the toy manufacturing capital of France.
Suitably refreshed, we journey back east into the Haut Jura for further afternoon regularities before starting the steep descent through the forest back to Divonne-les-Bains and the chance to discuss the first day’s competition over a much needed drink in the bar…
Day Two: Tuesday 4 September – Monts Jura, Bugey and Albanais – 325km
After climbing into the Jura once more we turn south down a broad mountain valley to the first regularity of the day across the mountains between the Valserine and Semine valleys. Continuing south, we enter the Bugey, a remote area of wooded mountains virtually encircled by the River Rhone.
Morning coffee is at a remote family run mountain auberge with the most fabulous views across the Rhone to the snow-capped Alps, with the peak of Mont Blanc prominent on the horizon. From there it’s a short run to the first test of the day, which, if all goes to plan, could be a first for the Alpine.
Although not high by Alpine standards, the hills of the Bugey offer some stiff driving challenges; the hairpins will become more frequent as the day goes on… After skirting the very edge of the deep Cluse des Hôpitaux, we climb to a tiny village for lunch at a rustic hotel run by three generations of the same family.
Dropping down into the Clues de l’Alberine gives us a chance to pick up fuel before starting the climb into the southern section of the Bugey, with expansive views west as far as Lyon, some 50km away. After regaining the valley floor once more there is a brief respite through the country lanes before tackling the final major climb of the day over the Grand Colombier ridge.
Then having stopped for ‘afternoon tea’ and and crossed the Rhone, all that remains is a run through the hills of the Albanais – until 1960 the most important tobacco growing area in France – and on to our hotel for the next two nights; the luxurious Hôtel L’Impérial Palace right by the water’s edge in Annecy.
Day Three: Wednesday 5 September – Haute Savoie and Massif des Bauges – 290km
The massive snow-capped peak of Mont Blanc dominates everything today, and will be our constant guardian as we explore the mountain roads around its flanks. Day three kicks off with an easy lakeside run before the competition gets underway with a short test followed by a testing regularity on the roads around the Vallée de Manigod.
Crossing a couple of minor Cols, we tackle one of the stiffest climbs anywhere in the Alps up to a lonely mountain refuge nestling under the 2400m peak of Mont Charvin where we enjoy a short break in the clear mountain air before starting the equally vertiginous descent…
After descending into the valley of the Arly the route then takes in a series of testing sections overlooking the 1992 Winter Olympics town of Albertville.
From lunch, we head south west along the flanks of the Isère valley before climbing into the Massif des Bauges National Park. No ‘Alpine’ would be complete without a final climb of the 1600m Montagne du Semnoz to admire the superb mountain scenery on offer. All that then remains is an easy descent into Annecy and the grand lakeside finish.
Before the Start – Divonne les Bains
Sunday 2 September – Divonne les Bains
Today was a beautiful early autumn day and, bathed in the warm sunlight, thirty nine cars were lined up in anticipation of three days of top class rallying.
The wide variety of splendid machines cut a fine sight and, set among them, looking as if it had driven straight from the pages of The Day of the Jackal, was Tony and Pauline Mather’s iconic, and very presidential, Citroen DS Decapotable, sat low and hunkered down on its hydropneumatic suspension.
The fourth edition of the Alpine Trial, and the penultimate ERA event of 2018, is about to get underway and, Anthony Preston and Keith Baud have set out what promises to be another challenging and beautiful route through the meadows and passes of the Jura and the Savoie regions.
At the Rally HQ, the Grand Hotel Domaine de Divonne, the crews busied themselves with formalities such as scrutineering and signing on and, Eleonora Piccolo was once again in the thick of it whilst out in the car park, the sweep team of Jamie Turner, Bob Harrod, Rob Kitchen and Russ Smith checked the vehicles for safety and compliance.
There were inevitably a few teething issues to sort out as well though and Jonathon Procter and Jason Dearden were among several crews who were fitting and / or refitting Monit trip meter sensors, whilst Willy van Loon’s Bentley needed a new brake light switch. If there are two things an Alpine rally car needs, reliable brakes and an accurate tripmeter are high on the list.
This year in Divonne, it’s turned out to be quite a family affair and one of the three father and son teams on the start list include Carlos Rieder whose beautiful Alfa Romeo, last seen on the Trans America Challenge, is this time being driven by his son Melvin whilst Carlos himself takes on the navigation duties.
Bill and Julie Holroyd were savagely bitten by the Endurance Rallying bug whilst on last years Blue Train Challenge and this year’s Trans America Challenge and today we see that they’re back in force here with son Harri and daughter Olivia in the team as well. The boys have a Frazer Nash Sebring to play with whilst the girls get an MG B Roadster.
Brian Scowcroft, another Trans American veteran is here with his grandson Harvey in the banana yellow Chevy Fangio Coupe for his very own baptism of fire.
The other two father and son crews, Colin and Mark Winkleman and Michael and Nicholas Kershaw are old hands however and need no further introduction. Similarly, Urs and Maxime Mezger, a father and daughter crew are no strangers to this event and will be only too aware of what’s coming up.
Pat and Tina Bridgeman on the other hand are about to start their first ever rally, in a beautiful Racing Green Bentley Sports, as are Steve and Debbie Charnock in a Porsche 356 who also had the very experienced Jim and Tanya Clarke coaching them in the car park, on the finer points of checking in and checking out of a control at the right time.
Once the sun dipped below the yard arm and the cars were tucked away for the night the crews sat down to dinner in the elegant ballroom where the Clerk of the Course, Keith Baud, gave the official welcome and whetted everyone’s appetite for the three days that lie ahead.
Tomorrow the flag drops so it’s likely that most crews will opt for an early night and bypass the bar on the way to their rooms.
Day One – Divonne les Bains to Divonne les Bains
Monday 3 September
A great way to start
At 8.01am precisely, from the heavy iron gates of the Domaine de Divonne, our thirty nine crews roared away into the Jura Mountains led by the redoubtable Super Sports Bentley of Graham and Marina Goodwin.
This is a hilly and heavily forested area, with an amazing network of little used narrow tracks, which thread their way between sleepy hamlets and tiny villages and, almost right from the gun these were the roads which the rally found itself on. The drivers were guaranteed a great day.
For the navigators, equipped with a slim route book, some marked maps, a tripmeter and a stop watch, the task looked perhaps a little more daunting but soon, everyone was into the rhythm of what was to prove to be, a very busy day of rallying.
The Col de Faucille was the first notable obstacle which led the cars straight into the first Regularity, the Haut Jura. Inevitably, there were some wrong slots and some big gaps in the field had opened up by the time the second Regularity, Les Piards arrived shortly before the coffee break at the impressive Pont de la Pyle.
Following this short break, the main event of the day got underway, the 29.2km Alpine Cup section in the hills around Sarrogna. To score well here, the crews had nothing more to do other than follow a marked IGN map and arrive at the five time controls at precisely the right time. Secret checks ensured that no-one took any shortcuts. Nothing could be simpler and, once they’d ticked this off then it was straight on to a track test at the Circuit Jurasud and then to a very welcome lakeside lunch halt at Le Regardoir.
The afternoon was almost as busy as the morning had been and two superb Regularities around Vulvoz and Bellecombe earned the rally a cup of coffee in the ominously named Foret du Massacre, so named after a bloody battle in 1535.
The final short Regularity at the Montagne due Tuffes preceded an auto test in Le Balancier before the plunge through the Foret de Divonne and, with five Regularities, one Alpine Cup section and two Special tests under their wheels since they left the Domaine de Divonne this morning the cars were parked up once again.
For some the day was done and they were happy with the most basic of spanner checks before retiring indoors for some refreshment. For others though there was still work to be done and, Bill Cleyndert and Matt Abrey, who had been running with a strange knocking sound all day set to and stripped Betsy to her bare essentials to see what the trouble was. Once a badly fitted cabin pollen filter had been ruled out, it transpired that the flywheel bolts were loose so, along with Rob Kitchen, Russ Smith and a set of spanners they set to fixing them.
Urs and Maxine Mezger made an uncharacteristic error on the last section of the day thanks to an intermittent tripmeter fault so, as soon as they arrived they sought out Bob Harrod who threw himself manfully into the footwell of the old Lagonda armed with his trusty screwdriver and voltmeter.
By the time the results were published, most of the crews had found their way to the bar which gave them something extra to chew over before they sat down to dinner.
Keith Wickham and Brian Spearman have never led an ERA rally before so it’s great to see them at the top of the leaderboard with their Bentley Open Tourer. They’ve got the highly competitive Talbot of Wilfried Schaefer and Sandra Hubner snapping at their heels though, so tomorrow they need to be on top form.
Bill Cleyndert and Matt Abrey are sitting in third place despite their mechanical woes and if they’ve got the car sorted for tomorrow then it’s likely that they’ll be well up for the fight.
In the Alpine Trophy class, for post war cars only, it’s the new pairing of two old hands, Julian Riley and Bill Hoff who are currently in first place whilst Colin and Veronica Weekley are second. Julie and Olivia Holroyd have an excellent third best overall time for the day although Bill and Harri Holroyd in their Frazer Nash are officially in third place based on the car age qualifications.
Finally, we were pleased to see our old friend Michael Kershaw who joined us for dinner this evening. Michael drove a Ford Mustang in the recent Trans America Challenge and is definitely not the same Michael Kershaw who is also with us, driving an HRG 1500.
Day Two – Divonne les Bains to Annecy
Tuesday 4 September
High roads, closed roads and open roads.
As we did yesterday, we were set to run straight for the hills this morning, the very minute that the clock ticked over and the timecard was stamped.
Waiting for the the off along with the other crews, our overnight leaders, Keith Wickham and Brian Spearman were in a very chipper mood. They explained that their car’s going really well and they absolutely loved the route yesterday which saw them head right to the top of the leaderboard. Additionally, Keith’s daughters car – Kate and Sophie’s “little Blue MG” is also performing nicely, benefitting from some new springs they’ve just fitted. “When everything’s going as well as this, then life’s good”, he called out as the Bentley eased off the line.
If Keith was feeling any pressure, he was certainly hiding it well, although it’s likely, that as a one time Olympic kayaker he’s well used to handling it.
The first Regularity was once again a steep one, up to the Col de Combe Blanche, where we enjoyed a fast and free passage through a thick forest with tantalising glimpses of Lake Geneva below and the high Alps beyond it.
Once out of the woods, a long run down a sleepy valley below the Monts Jura led to the second Regularity on the Combe du Collet before the crews were able to enjoy a quick coffee in the well situated Auberge Le Catray where they were fully able to appreciate the views.
Jonathan Procter and Jason Dearden were delayed slightly on the way there thanks to their exhaust almost falling off their Frazer Nash in the village of La Rivière. Some light fettling though rescued the situation and they were soon back with the pack.
After their short break then it was onwards, to the Special Test for the day, which was precisely that; special.
Permission has been granted to close down the ski station at the Plans d’ Hotonnes where a short, sharp street street style circuit had been laid out for the crews to get their teeth into. The action was fast and furious on a surface that was a healthy mixture of tarmac, concrete and gravel and the 360° pirouette which was required in the middle of the section was a real crowd pleaser even as they were showered with ‘wheelfuls’ of loose chippings
Ed Rutherford and Chris Elkins manned the start control whilst Dick Appleton and Worth Birkill, now relieved of their 48 hour car duties handled the finish clock.
Tim and Sue Fuller’s Riley broke down shorty after leaving the circuit with an electrical issue but, luckily for them, the sweep crew of Rob Kitchen and Russ’ Smith were soon on the scene and got them going again.
It was likely that by now some of the crews were getting little peckish but their route to lunch involved another Regularity over the Col de Ballon after which they were surely glad to sit down at the charming L’Auberge Campagnarde in Evosges for a little culinary diversion.
The morning session had been good but, what followed after the deserts and coffee had been cleared was simply stunning. Another tough Regularity around Ordonnaz led straight into the Alpine Cup Section on the Col de la Biche, an old Alpine and Monte Carlo favourite of both Keith Baud and Philip Young. Run in the opposite direction to years gone by the rally, bathed in warm autumn sunlight, shot up through the hairpins of the Foret de Brenaz onto the Massif of the Grand Colombier where a thousand nonchalant cattle barely acknowledged our passing.
This had been an intense and for some, an unforgettable afternoon of driving and, at the coffee break at the Belvedere sur Lyand, another old favourite, there was much excited chatter, revision and analysis of the previous 80kms. The mood was that surely this section would cause an upset to the leaderboard this evening?
The day was by now drawing to a close but, after crossing the Rhone at Seyssel and on the way to the night halt in Annecy, Keith Baud and Anthony Preston – the joint Clerks of the Course – couldn’t resist throwing in another Regularity, the fifth of the day, around the beautiful hills above Droisy.
It was all downhill from here though and, after some 30km of easy driving, the shimmering blue waters of the Lac d’Annecy signalled the formal end to the second day of competition.
All that was required now was to process the results and, after a short while, we saw that it was Tony Brooks and Jim Gately who now lead the overall. Wilfried Schaefer and Sandra Hubner are still in second place but Urs and Maxine Mezger have leaped into third and are the only car left which qualifies for a coveted Alpine Cup …. but there is still a whole day left for them to lose it.
Keith Wickham and Brian Spearman had a disappointing day, eventually ending up way down in twelfth place.
Julian Riley and Bill Hoff held onto their lead in the Alpine Trophy class, with Colin and Veronica Weekley taking second from Deborah Lloyd and Simon Arscott who now sit in third place.
Wherever they ended up on the result sheet though, just about everyone agreed that this had been a truly epic day and Graham Goodwin, the Vintage Category winner of the ERA’s recent Road to Saigon rally seemed to sum it up nicely, the “Alpine Trial today was one of our best days rallying ever. It was long, it was tough and the roads and views were incredible. Well done the ERA”.
Sadly one of the cars has had to withdraw. The Bentley Speed Six of Jean Vincent and Caroline Vergotte has lost its water pump so they’ll just have to sit out tomorrow on the terrace of the Hotel L’Imperial Palace overlooking the lake!
We head into the high mountains of the Alps tomorrow where there’s still much to play for.
Day Three – Annecy to Annecy
Wednesday 5th September 2018
If at first you don’t succeed.
The day of reckoning finally arrived and word had somehow got out that today was going to be even tougher than the previous two and certainly, when the navigators opened their route books this morning they saw nothing to disabuse them of this.
There were five Regularities, two Special Tests and an Alpine Section to get through before the finish line, and all in 287km.
The Kartparc Test opened proceedings some 21km from the hotel, after which it was back into the hills around the Col de Plan Bois for the first Regularity which combined a stiff climb and a helter skelter descent. Upon hitting the valley floor though the road sent the cars upwards almost immediately towards the Col de l’Epine and the road to Ugine and one of our favourite stomping grounds, the Col de l’Arpettaz with its to ‘die for views’ over Mont Blanc.
As well as drinking in the views, the crews made full use of the refreshments available and over coffee on the terrace, Jim Gateley and Wilfried Schaefer – first and second place overall – enjoyed a conversation about their experiences of leading a rally and then having the misfortune to either break down or to have victory snatched away at the last minute.
Both men know this feeling only too well and today both were also hoping upon hope that today would be their day.
Jim spoke for them both when he said that he was simply “taking it one Regularity at a time. We climb a mountain we do a test and we then repeat”.
The Mont Charvin Regularity which followed this mid morning halt then delivered the cars down into the valley and the subsequent Alpine Cup Section around the Col de la Forclaz. Naturally, this was a tough piece of road which caught out many crews and sadly, it was here that Urs and Maxime Mezger lost their Alpine Cup.
There was much to talk about therefore once the lunch halt in the La Belle Metairie in Lachat arrived and, thanks to the fantastic setting and food, anyone feeling a little disheartened would have had their spirits lifted.
There were three more Regularities at Bisanne, Bonvillard and the Col de Leschaux, as well as another track Test which had to be tackled in the afternoon but, this was the final furlong and as the cars climbed up to the famous Semnoz Ridge there was a feeling a job well done.
All that was left now was the descent into Annecy and the passage under the finish arch on the lakeside where HERO Chairman and Managing Director, Tomas de Vargas Machuca and Patrick Burke waved them in and handed out their finishers awards.
The Gala Prizegiving soon afterwards was all that was left on the agenda and with the leaderboard finalised it was announced that Jim Gately and Tony Brooks had held on to take their first win after so many near misses.
This result was well received and, Jim was delighted. Naturally reticent he claimed that “this means an awful lot to me, so much so that I can’t actually put it into words”, before going on to give a lengthy and heartfelt speech in which he thanked his wife Dawn for “allowing me to come across the pond and play with my cars and thanks also to Tony Brooks, my navigator. He’s a true gentleman and a friend and without him I would not be here enjoying this sport of vintage rallying”.
This event was simply brilliant. I’ve done all four Alpine Trials and this was the best yet although the roads were severe and challenging and it was a real hard for my big fat caddy – Matilda”.
He finished by echoing the sentiments of most of the room by declaring that “HERO / ERA. You’ve hit a home run with this one, Keith Baud and Anthony Preston you have done a truly excellent job”.
A standing ovation followed and then the champagne, generously provided by our sponsors Henriot was unleashed.
Wilfried Schaefer and Sandra Hubner said they were thrilled with their second place. It was their first time on the podium . . . and Wilfried added, “ . . . in a British event”.
Julian Riley and Bill Hoff held on to take the Alpine Trophy for post war cars.
There were some discretionary awards as well, the Concours d’Elegance was presented to Bill and Harri Holroyd for their Frazer Nash Sebring. The Spirit of the Rally went to the ever smiling Willy van Loon and Christine Torfs whilst the Tin Top (TT) Trophy for Alpine cars was gratefully received by Colin and Mark Winkelman.
|25||Jim Gately / Tony Brooks
|11||Wilfried Schaefer / Sandra Hubner
Talbot 105 Alpine
|7||Jonathan Procter / Jason Dearden
Frazer Nash TT REP
|4||Bill Cleyndert / Matt Abrey
Ford Model A Special
|14||Richard Dresner / Colin Mackenzie
|21||Chris Abrey / Sara Banham
|35||Kate Wickham / Sophie Wickham
|9||Beat Hirs / Peter Weigelt
Alvis Speed 20
|16||Urs Mezger / Maxime Mezger
|28||Colin Winkelman / Mark Winkelman
BMW 327/328 Coupe
|26||Clint Smith / Patrice Boilletot
|1||Graham Goodwin / Marina Goodwin
Bentley Super Sports
|34||Keith Wickham / Brian Spearman
Bentley Open Tourer
|31||Michael Kershaw / Nicholas Kershaw
|22||Brian Scowcroft / Harvey Scowcroft
Chevrolet Fangio Coupe
|19||Willy Van Loon / Chris Torfs
Bentley Derby 3½
|5||James Rosenmeyer / Aoife Rosenmeyer
Lea Francis Hyper
|23||Jim Clarke / Tanya Clarke
|37||Pat Bridgeman / Tina Bridgeman
|17||Tim Fuller / Sue Fuller
Riley 12/4 Special
|8||Roland D’Ieteren / Dominique Gasse
Alfa Romeo 1750GS
|12||Andrew Boland / Ann Boland
|32||Rene Backx / Jef Augustyns
Bentley Special Speed 8
|15||Jean Vincent / Caroline Vergotte
Bentley Speed Six
|Alpine Trophy Cars|
|50||Julian Riley / Bill Hoff
|44||Colin Weekley / Veronica Weekley
Austin Healey 3000
|43||Deborah Lloyd / Simon Arscott
|27||Carlos Rieder / Melvin Rieder
|49||Tony Mather / Pauline Mather
Citroen DS Decapotable
|36||Julie Holroyd / Olivia Holroyd
MG B Roadster
|39||Jaime Pueche / Gregorio Esteban
|41||Bill Holroyd / Harri Holroyd
Frazer Nash Sebring
|38||Bernd Dannenmaier / Christiane Dannenmaier
Porsche 356A Speedster
|47||Richard Nicholl / Victoria Nicholl
|46||Mick de Haas / Grace de Haas
|48||Steve Charnock / Debbie Charnock
|45||Hampi Durrer / Joe Dillier
|40||Kelly Stuhlinger / Arthur Stuhlinger
Jaguar XK120 OTS
|42||Stefan Costermans / Mauri Costermans
Aston Martin DB 2/4 DHC