A quick preview of the Rally of the Tests from 7th-10th November, filmed at the Andy Mort Tour, and featuring Daniel Barritt
STUART ANDERSON AND CHRIS THIRLING (Car 37):
“We must concur; it was an excellently organised event and look forward to next years. A great thank you to the Organising Team and Marshals.”
PETER CROFT AND AMANDA BRADLEY (Car 33):
“I would like to add our thanks to all the organisers and helpers for the AMT, we thoroughly enjoyed the event. It is the second time we have done the AMT and the first using the Tulip method, we we found to be extremely good and easy to follow. We stayed in time and managed all the controls which is always a bonus. The only regret was not getting Paddy Hopkirk to sign the road book as we had dropped the MG at home after the test at Hansons and left all the paperwork in it, we picked up the road car to make it easier to travel home after. The evening with Paddy was excellent, to see the two Minis at the finish.”
PHIL AND AIDEEN DEAN (Car 44):
“What a brilliant event the AMT was, we both had a brilliant day out and was a credit to the 2300 Club and the organisers. It certainly is a great memorial to Andy Mort.
Yes, we got lost or missed junctions a few times but it was a fantastic day out. A big thank you to the marshals, especially the ones manning the later controls stuck up on the top of hills in an increasingly cold day, waiting for us stragglers to turn up.
The day couldn’t have finished any better that to have Paddy Hopkirk as your guest speaker, what a great laugh and what an ambassador for the sport.
Next year I hope to have the Hillman Avenger rally car finished and we can turn up in a proper car for the event!”
ROD AND DIANE BRERETON (Car 23):
Our great, great thanks for an absolutely brilliant event, proven by its popularity and full entry.
Without doubt the best we have ever done. Everything was just perfect. I assess events on the road books, and if I end up going to OS maps then it’s a bad event. Your road book was spot on. I’m sorry I didn’t stop for the forum, sadly Diane was full of a cold and was ready for home.”
OWEN AND PAM FRANKLAND (Car 17):
“Once again, we decided to make a weekend of our trip to Lancashire to take part in this excellent run with our MG3.
We were away on time at 10.17 and had a great drive over some lovely roads and hit our times at the checkpoint. We made the lunch halt without trouble and set off for the afternoon run.
Things didn’t go so well as a a couple of wrong turns had us pushing hard to keep on time. One wrong turn took us miles out of our way and we had to backtrack, although we couldn’t remember exactly which way we had come.
We turned into one country lane and found the checkpoint we wanted, although we had no idea how we got there!
We finally made it to the end and took part in the blindfold challenge, which did end up involving a bit of shouting…
At the finish we got our route book signed by Paddy – and we won a couple of bottles of champagne for getting a clean sheet. As neither of us drink, we’ve donated it to the Durham Auto Club to raise money for the Great North Air Ambulance.
We had a great day and a huge thanks go to all who worked so hard planning the event and those stalwarts manning the checkpoints. By the time we got home we had done 357 enjoyable miles.”
IAN HARRISON AND ELLIE MURRAY (Car 19):
“We had a great day out despite finding ourselves, along with others, in Hellifield when we should have been in Sabden! Hence we arrived late at every control in the first half of the event. It turns out that the start marshal told some competitors about the first page of the road. But it didn’t spoil our day.”
GEOFF MAINE AND PHIL HOWARTH (Car 3):
“We’ve done every one of these events, and Paddy Hopkirk made this year’s special – and the cheese and onion pie was excellent!”
RICHARD PYE AND AMY MOORHOUSE (Marshals):
“Neither of us have marshalled before so we were very grateful to Maurice Ellison for showing us the ropes in the morning before we went out on our own in the afternoon.
Every car thanked us for volunteering and all were handing out sweets by way of a ‘thank you’ which was much appreciated!”
JOHN HARTLEY AND NIGEL BENTLEY (Car 40):
“Just a line to congratulate your team on an excellent event. The route was interesting and scenic, altogether a super route. (Sorry I am repeating myself)
Also thanks for dealing with us so swiftly when we arrived at the start.”
John subsequently followed up with the following, looking at it from an organisers perspective having organised so may successful events himself.
“I thought we may not make this year’s event as within striking distance of the start a rather over enthusiastic cyclist (who turned out to be a really nice chap) ran into the car whilst we were stopped. Car not severely damaged, more than can be said for the cyclist who had a nasty gash on his face, but he was saved from worse by his helmet. We had to wait for ambulance and police to attend the scene, eventually getting to the start with minutes to go to our start time. The 2300 Club spotted our arrival and brought the documentation to us and signed us on just in time to slot into our correct starting position.
When Nigel and I drove onto the car park, despite our last minute arrival, we were able to take in and appreciate the effort that has been put in and recognise we were on a “proper” event. There was a parking space allocated by our car number, although we were not in it for very long, but long enough to appreciate the treasures to be seen ….. EMO and EJB.
The rally pack of route book and rally plate etc was superb – printed in eye catching colour, printed and presented to the highest quality. It is the detail – I have no place to affix a rally plate to my car by way of cable ties and was so much relieved to find included in the pack suckers to fit the plate to the car windscreen. I did not cherish the thought of self-tappers through my bonnet.
When it was the minute to set off we drew into a smart gazebo to be flagged off by none other than Paddy Hopkirk. Does it get any better than that?
The route itself, crafted by those wily old navigators Walter Bateson and David Barritt was a constant joy, interesting roads in beautiful scenery. We are so fortunate to have such a magnificent motoring area right on our doorstep. I am not going to detail the route but in a route of 140 miles we ranged across NE Lancashire and W Yorkshire as far as Blubberhouses, then enjoyed the scenery of Nidderdale and Wharfedale back to bonny Lancashire again.
After the finish of the Tour we were invited to a fun driving test – along a taped off lane in a car park – which was not straight, to stop and then for the navigator to throw fan belts over a shock absorber. All this against the clock – and oh – I almost forgot to say the driver was blindfolded and relied on instructions from the navigator. Although the test took less than half a minute – how long did it take to set up with all the banners and at least four marshals on hand.
Back at the finish a robust supper of Lancashire Hot Pot (what else) and mushies was provided followed by a sweet.
But that was not all! After the meal we were regaled by Paddy Hopkirk with stories and short films of his past exploits.
Where will you get such a day for an entry fee of £50?”
SIMON ROTHSCHILD AND ALAN SHAW (Car 43):
“Just a quick note to say thanks to your organising team, marshals etc. for a great event. We, Simon and myself, ask you to pass on our thanks to everyone involved.”
IAN DAWS AND JOHNATHAN ATTHAY (Car 24):
“Many thanks for a fabulous fun and sociable event to you, all your colleagues and marshals. We really enjoyed it and hope to be back next year.”
IAN ROWSON AND PAUL COOPER (Car 4):
“Thanks again Stuart, was a fantastic day, with lots of very nice cars around, a brilliant route again, not sure what happened to all them photography peeps don’t seem to want to post any pics yet.. thanks again Ian.
Oh and see you next year hopefully another tour will be in the making .”
IAN HARDY AND CAROL HARDY (Car 39):
“Thoroughly enjoyed my first Andy Mort Tour. Lots of interesting cars and people to catch up with; many of whom were on Mull and I’d missed!
Really well organised and looked after by the army of volunteers; please pass on my thanks.
Keep me on the mailing list please for next year!
All the best”
KEITH OGLESBY AND GRAHAM HANSON (Car 11):
“Great event! Well done and thank you and all the organisers and marshals!
Btw are there any official photos eg at the start with Paddy setting us off?”
JOHN COOPER AND JANET RITSON (Car 32):
“Apologies for the delay in contacting you, but just wanted to say a huge THANK YOU to everyone involved in last Saturday’s fantastic day.
We thoroughly enjoyed the drive, the supper and Paddy’s very entertaining presentation.
The effort that everyone puts in to prepare for and marshal on the day is tremendous and very much appreciated.
Please pass this message on to everyone at the 2300 Club.”
As the dust settles on the fourth Andy Mort Tour, the 2300 Club can reflect on an event that proved an overwhelming success. All the ingredients were there: one of the best known names in rallying in attendance, two of the most famous Minis in the world, a record-breaking entry of 55 cars, and a fabulous route through Lancashire and Yorkshire – even the weather played its part.
Thanks to support from Mini Sport and managing director Chris Harper, the club were lucky enough to have Paddy Hopkirk in attendance, flagging off the cars and greeting the finishers back at West Bradford Village Hall before entertaining a 150-strong audience with a talk on his life and career. First cars away were Paddy’s two Mini Cooper S’s, 6 EMO, in which he won the 1990 Pirelli Classic Marathon and 33 EJB, the replica of his 1964 Monte Carlo Rally winning car.
From Austin to Abarth and Stratos to Skoda, there was an amazing array of classic and modern machinery. The hubbub of interest and expectation began to mount as the crews arrived, all with back stories about their car – and themselves – to tell. For some, the drama started before the chequered flag had even dropped.
Fellsman Tour organiser and LAC member John Hartley nearly didn’t make it in his Porsche, after being collected by a speedy cyclist whilst stationary in Waddington. Hartley and navigator Nigel Bentley had to call an ambulance for the injured rider, only continuing to the start once he had been treated.
Ahead of all the crews lay a 120-mile route through Lancashire and Yorkshire, meticulously planned by 2300 Club members Walter Bateson and Dave Barritt and their team, using a choice of tulip road book or maps. The tulip road book proved to be a brainteaser from the start, with several crews not realising that the first page was a sample route from last year and turned left at the first junction instead of right….
The opening section took in familiar territory of Sawley, the Nick O’ Pendle, Sabden, Brierfield before heading across the top of Burnley down to Haggate crossroads and turning left towards Wycoller. There was a famous motorsport face at the second checkpoint near Wycoller Country Park, with leading WRC co-driver Daniel Barritt – and his mum Janet – signing the route cards.
Oakworth, Crosshills and Steeton and Addingham were next up on the signposts, but then a dreaded ‘Road Closed – Diversion’ sign created problems for crews – particularly those ones relying on the tulip road book alone. A detour through the centre of Otley saw the field pick up the original route to the lunch halt at Blubberhouses.
At least one crew ignored the diversion sign and carried on regardless. In a scene allegedly reminiscent of ‘The Italian Job’, Mini Sport’s Michael Anderson and his son Ben took to the pavement in 33 EJB in their determination to stay on course – and on time. The post-lunch run took in some picturesque roads near Pateley Bridge and Greenhow before heading through Embsay and skirting around Skipton, rounding off with some of the superb road rally lanes around Lothersdale.
The route finished with an optional ‘fun test’ in the car park at Hanson Cement. Two abreast, cars were timed around a simple left or right dog-leg lined with cones and tape. Simple – except that the driver was blindfolded and had to rely on their navigator for precise instructions.
Several squashed cones and chewed up tape later, everyone was through and heading for the finish for a well-earned supper and Paddy’s much-awaited talk. He might be 86 years old, and many of the stories and events we already know, but Paddy really can tell a tale or two.
Amidst gales of laughter from the enraptured audience, Paddy recounted his career in motorsport, starting out with autotesting in Northern Ireland, graduating to rallying with the Mini, the Monte, circuit racing and then later life with the family.
And he even took time out to wish Steve Entwistle and Mark Appleton all the best on next month’s RAC Rally of the Tests, driving Paddy’s own Cooper S, 6 EMO.
“Good luck to Steve and Mark on the rally next month, but we’re not bothered about third or second, only number one”, he said. So, no pressure there then….
As the evening wound up and everyone departed after a brilliant day of driving and socialising, the same four words could be heard everywhere.
“See you next year!”
We’ve made a few final tweaks to the entry list; a last minute drop out of car 12 (due to illness) has meant that we’ve moved everybody up a place and sadly, due to a disagreement the Car 13 crew of Boris Johnson and Nigel Farage in their Brexit Special will not be running…
A much-loved member of the 2300 Club, Andy Mort lost his life in an accident on the 2015 Tour of Mull. Twelve months later, the club decided to honour his memory with an annual event, and four years on, the Andy Mort Tour goes from strength to strength. Roger & Pamela Broom are just one of many of the crews taking part on Saturday, they were personal friends of Andy, and this is their story:
“My husband Roger and I marshalled main time controls MT2 and MT8 on the Tour of Mull for over 25 years. Over that time we got to know a good few of the 2300 Club members, including Andy Mort. On some occasions, particularly when there was a serious incident or hold-up, or even a cancellation, Andy was often the person who would jump in and be our ‘extra hands’ and liaison with rally control. He was a great guy, and when the 2300 Club organised the first Andy Mort Tour, we knew we just had to be part of it. Initially, it was to show support to Andy’s family, friends and the 2300 Club. Now we take part to celebrate and remember Andy and also because it’s a great event to do. Thank you the 2300 Club!”
Peter Croft is typical of many competitors who have achieved high-speed success in motorsport before moving to a slightly more sedate, but equally enjoyable, events like the Andy Mort Tour.
“My introduction to motorsport began with hot rod racing on the Oval tracks in the late 1960s and early 1970s, finishing fifth in the British championship race at New Brighton driving at 1600cc Ford Anglia.”
“Lack of funds and a young family insured and in forced lay-off, but after that I took up road rallying in the late 1970s, first with a self-built mini and then a Mark one Ford Escort, culminating in winning the Clitheroe DMC championship.”
“After another absence, I started racing a Westfield in the Kit Car Championship, before switching to a Sylva Phoenix kit car with reasonable success. After that, I contested the MG Car Club Championships in an MG Midget until 2011.”
“In recent years, I have taken part in the Fellsman and last years Andy Mort Tour in an MGB GT with my partner Amanda Bradley, and we are looking forward to Saturday very much.”
The countdown to the Andy Mort Tour has started. With just four days to go, excitement is building – thanks to a record entry of 55 cars and crews all eager for a great driving day and the chance to meet Paddy Hopkirk. And it’s the ‘Paddy Factor’ that is expected to make this year’s Andy Mort Tour the best yet. “We’ve had a fantastic response, and it was very soon apparent that we would have to extend our limit of 50 cars to accommodate everyone who wanted to attend,” explained Neil Molyneux, chairman of the 2300 Club of Blackburn. “Having Paddy here to meet and greet everyone, and then give a talk at the finish, is going to make the day very special. The icing on the cake is having Paddy’s two cars, 6 EMO and 33 EJB taking part. The organising team have worked very hard to put on an entertaining route that everyone will enjoy, and we hope all the crews will finish the tour wanting to come back again next year.” And it’s not just the crews who will be busy preparing for Saturday. Course car driver Neil Johnson faces a race against time getting his ex-Thierry Neuville Fiesta ST ready after damaging the steering last time out on the Little Devils Tour. The car was used by the current WRC front-runner in the Belgian Rally Championship in 2008.
Fortunately, Neil works for a BMW dealership, so should be able to get a last-minute replacement if it all goes wrong. Whatever he turns up in, he’ll have long- standing 2300 Club member Pete Kenyon on the maps. ‘PK’ was entries secretary when the club ran the Tour of Mull closed road rally, and is a familiar figure in the trials bike world, officiating at many national and international events, along with his brother Roger. Keeping up the family links, Roger will be at the other end of the field as the last car on the Tour. The start venue at West Bradford Village Hall will be open from 8am on Saturday morning, and the organisers ask all crews to arrive at least an hour before their scheduled start time. Each car has an allocated car park space, please do not park on the grass verges on the main road. Cars will leave at one minute intervals, with the first ten cars flagged away by Paddy, who will have the pleasure of seeing 6 EMO, his Pirelli Marathon – winning Cooper S, at car one, followed by 33 EJB, the replica of his 1964 Monte Carlo Rally-winning Mini. Both cars are expected to attract a huge amount of attention throughout the day, and will be taking part in the optional Super Special Test, which takes place after the finish control in West Bradford. “Andy Mort was a fun-loving character and would have appreciated everyone taking part in this element of the day,” explained Neil Molyneux. “We are looking forward to seeing friends old and new on Saturday, even the weather is looking promising!”
The 2300 Club of Blackburn would like to thank our event starter Paddy Hopkirk MBE, Chris Harper and Mini Sport of Padiham, Gary Young and Hanson Heidelberg Cement Group, Educational Printing Services Ltd, West Bradford Village Hall, the Millstones, and all the marshals.
Here is a link to an article written by 2300 Club Chairman and published in the 2019 Mull Rally Event Programme:
There will now be two famous rally Minis leading away the field on next week’s Andy Mort Tour. Paddy Hopkirk’s amazing replica of the 1964 Monte Carlo Rally winning Mini, 33 EJB will now be appearing, joining 6 EMO, the car he drove to victory on the 1990 Pirelli Marathon. The original 33 EJB is now housed at Gaydon, and has become an illustrious icon, defining the success of both Hopkirk and the Mini in what is acknowledged as a golden era of the sport.
The replica was built by the late Graham McConnell to the specification of the 1964 car, and is looked after by Mini Sport of Padiham, who enjoy close personal and business links with the legendary Northern Irishman. 33 EJB will be driven by Mini Sport’s Michael Anderson, with his son Ben, an accomplished stage navigator in his own right, reading the maps. They will start at car two, behind 6 EMO which will be driven by Steve Entwistle and Mark Appleton. Paddy has generously allowed Mini Sport and Entwistle to use the car on the RAC Rally of the Tests, and with the event just four weeks away, the pair will be using the Andy Mort Tour to get re-acquainted with one another – their last event together was back in 2015.
“To see 33 EJB and 6 EMO on the Tour will be amazing, and for any Mini or historic rally enthusiast, they represent a famous era in the sport,” said 2300 Club chairman Neil Molyneux. “The Tour is getting very close now, and we are very happy with the quality and the quantity of the entries received, and we expect to be issuing the final instructions to everyone this weekend.”
And there’s another works replica car among the entries, with Ilkley Motor Club member Les McGuffog bringing along his newly-acquired Austin Healey 3000 Mk2 for a run-out with well-known rally organiser Kev Haworth in the co-driver’s seat. The club were also delighted to see two former John Easson Scholarship winners on the entry list for this year’s Tour. Tommi Meadows, winner in 2017, has been a frontrunner in this year’s BTRDA R2 Rallye Cup, and fresh from his outing on last weekend’s Wales Rally GB, he’ll be on the startline at West Bradford Village Hall. But it will be in something more sedate than his Fiesta R2 rally car – a Morris Minor 1000!
And a late entry sees 2008 Scholarship winner Phil Scholes also out enjoying the lanes of Lancashire and Yorkshire. Sadly, there have been a couple of withdrawals, with Geoff Awde forced to give the Tour a miss following problems with the diff on his MGB, and Mark Smith, who has taken part in all the previous Andy Mort Tours, will also not be appearing. So with less than two weeks to go, there are still a few places left, anyone interested can visit www.2300club.org for the entry form and details – but be quick!