Appeal for Marshals for October 19

The 2300 Club have issued an appeal for marshals for this month’s Andy Mort Tour, which takes place on Saturday, October 19. Starting and finishing at West Bradford Village Hall in the Ribble Valley, this year’s event has Paddy Hopkirk as guest of honour, flagging away the cars at one minute intervals, and waving the chequered flag at the finish.

“It’s going to be a very special day for everyone, drivers, navigators , officials – and marshals,” said club chairman Neil Molyneux. “We are looking for anyone who could help with marshalling duties on the day, no previous experience is necessary, and in return we offer volunteers a free bacon roll breakfast, supper and entry to the talk by Paddy”

“We have an amazing array of cars – and drivers – entered, so the opportunity to see some iconic
machinery, such as 6 EMO, Paddy’s Pirelli Marthon-winning Mini Cooper S, a works replica Austin Healey 3000, and a Lancia Stratos is not to be missed.”

Anyone wishing to volunteer can contact Chief Marshal at simonbibby@btinternet.com.

Any Mort Tour Update

This year’s Andy Mort Tour is gearing up to be the best yet.

Thanks to the legendary Paddy Hopkirk appearing as the guest of honour, the 2300 Club of Blackburn has seen a surge of interest in the one-day touring assembly, with the original entry limit of 50 cars now extended to 60 .

And the entry list reads like a who’s who of northern motorsport, with a host of names from past and present.

Hopkirk will have the pleasure of flagging of his own car, with 2015 HRCR champion Steve Entwistle taking the wheel of Paddy’s famous Pirelli Marathon-winning Mini Cooper S, 6 EMO, starting at car one.

Geoff Maine and Phil Howarth are back for a third consecutive outing on the Andy Mort Tour – each time in a different car. Both are members of Liverpool Motor Club, competing and officiating.

One of East Lancashire’s most well-known stage rally drivers, Nigel Worswick, is swapping his Ford Escort WRC for a road-going version and starts at seven.

Right behind him is another well-known historic rally crew, Geoff Awde and Peter Ward in an MGB and rounding off the top ten is Ian Harrison, well-known for his exploits in the British Rally Championship in the 1980’s driving a Vauxhall Astra.

Bill Honeywell has a long and illustrious history in rallying, making his debut on the Tour of Mull in 1971. “I’ve done more road rallies than I care to count, and enjoying a long-standing partnership with John Meadows resulting in finishing ninth overall on the 1983 Motoring News Championship.” he said. “When money was tight, I navigated as sat alongside my dad Roy, Mark Harrison, Brian Harper, and Dave Calvert. I now spend much of my time cycling to raise money for cancer charities. I cycled 4,500 miles in one go around Britain in 2011 and climbed all 542 fells in the Lakes. So if anyone wants to donate a few quid to help the fight against cancer, I’ll gladly relieve them of it!”

Starting at car 16 Lisa and Jim Maguire are looking forward to ‘playing out’ in their BMW Cooper S. Lisa used to navigate on rallies but the pair are now officials of Buccaneer Motor Sport Club. Roger and Pamela Broom marshalled on the Tour of Mull for over 25 years and counted themselves good friends with Andy Mort. “He was a great guy and when the 2300 Club organised the first Andy Mort Tour, we just knew we had to be part of it to show support to Andy’s family and friends – and the 2300 Club.” said Roger. They will start at car 24 in a Skoda Citigo.

Former circuit racer Dave Rose is bringing along a car with the same name – a 1989 Mini Rose, one of 500 in Pink White to celebrate 30 years of the Mini.

Former Lancashire Telegraph motorsport writer Jeff Hanson is making his Tour debut with his Mazda MX5. “I covered the sport in the 1980’s with the likes of Hannu Mikkola, Ari Vatanen, Jimmy McRae- and some bloke called Ian Grindrod!” said Jeff. “I tried a few regularities myself, although they were more like irregularities, and was once given a very dubious ‘Crap But Tried’ award by Springhill Car Club, which consisted of a melted conrod.” “My son-in-law Stephen Greenwood is navigating, and his claim to fame is that he once beat Lewis Hamilton is a junior karting race when they were both kids!”

And it’s going to be interesting inside the cabin of John Pinder and David Rowe’s Renault Clio.
“We’re both drivers, so that should be interesting,” said David. “We both rallied back in the late 1970’s and early 1980’s in stage and road rallies. More recently, John has been helping his son Luke Pinder in several BRC campaigns. We are both looking forward to the tour and hopefully a targa rally or two.”

*The Andy Mort Tour takes place on Saturday, October 19, starting and finishing from West Bradford Village Hall. More information HERE

Top ten entries:

  1. Steve Entwistle/TBA (Mini Cooper S)
  2. Michael Anderson/Ben Anderson (Mini City)
  3. Geoff Maine/Phil Howarth (MG)
  4. Ian Rowson/Paul Cooper (RS2000)
  5. Andy Stanworth/Alan Ridehalgh (Mini Cooper S)
  6. Mark Smith/Justin Moran (Audi S1 Quattro)
  7. Nigel Worswick/Rebecca Kirsch (Ford Escort Cosworth)
  8. Geoff Awde/Peter Ward (MGB)
  9. Simon Boardman/Steve Crossley (Volvo Amazon)
  10. Ian Harrison/Ellie Murray (Abarth Spider GT).

Fred Arthur Blundell (FAB) Obituary

Fred Arthur Blundell, who was Chief Marshal and Results Chief on the Tour of Mull, has died just before his 93rd Birthday.

Fred Blundell

His given name was Arthur. Taff Edwards began referring to him as Fred as a gentle leg-pull and it stuck. To his Rallying friends he was and is Fred. To the rest of the world he was Arthur.

For many years Fred fulfilled both of the above roles on Mull. This guaranteed him no sleep for the entire weekend. His genial manner was unaffected and his ability to party when the work was done was legendary.

Fred introduced computerised results to Rallying. In 1979 the Aros Hall in Tobermory was linked to the Philips mainframe in Croydon via a telephone handset pushed into a device with two rubber cups on it. PCs had not yet been invented. This was a success and was soon superseded by an Apple II computer running a tortuous BASIC program that was written by Fred.

Fred will be remembered as a lovely man. He was never visibly flustered even when dealing with a crashed computer program and a queue of results queries from agitated co-drivers. No-one can ever remember him swearing. He was always ready for a joke and a chuckle.

When Fred stood down from his major Club responsibilities he moved into a new role in his 80s. He donned a boiler suit and joined the road crew. This gang was known for their jokes and spoofs as much as for their practical skills and Fred became an integral part.

Fred’s funeral will be at St Josephs Catholic Church, Bury lane, Withnell, Chorley, PR6 8SD on Wednesday, 25th September, at 11.30.

2300 Club Feature on Drystone Radio Radio

Neil Molyneux from the 2300 Club joined Mark Stone on his Drystone Radio show ‘Back Seat Driver’, on 15th September 2019, to talk about the 2300 Club and the upcoming Andy Mort Tour, featuring Paddy Hopkirk

The link to the original show on Drystone Radio is no longer available, but the MP3 excerpt can be played here: 

Andy Mort Tour – Nearly Full!

‘Get your entry in now’ is the urgent message from the organisers of October’s Andy Mort Tour. The 2300 Club of Blackburn have received an unprecedented level of interest since the regulations were published last week. “We were delighted to get almost 20 paid-up entries in the first 24 hours,” explained chairman Neil Molyneux. “Since then the numbers have been steadily rising, and we are now approaching the 40-mark, which leaves us with just ten more spaces left. The Andy Mort Tour has always been popular, but I think the ‘Paddy Factor’ has really taken effect this year.”

Thanks to Mini Sport and their managing director Chris Harper, the club will have the legendary Irish rallyman Paddy Hopkirk as their guest of honour on the day. The Padiham-based Mini specialists enjoy close personal and business links with Hopkirk, and have been entrusted to look after his famous works Cooper S replica 6 EMO, in which he won the 1990 Pirelli Classic Marathon. “Paddy will be flagging off the cars off from the start at West Bradford Village Hall, near Clitheroe, and greeting the finishers later in the day, “ said Chris. “And to round off a great day, there will be an unmissable talk by Paddy recounting some of the highlights of his long and illustrious career in motorsport, followed by a question-and-answer session with renowned rally navigator Ian Grindrod.”

Early entries include 2015 HRCR clubmans champion Steve Entwistle, who will be giving 6 EMO a run-out ahead of November’s RAC Rally of the Tests.

The 2300 Club are also appealing for marshals to help on the day, and volunteers will get a free supper and entry to the talk by Paddy Hopkirk. Anyone wishing to marshal should contact Simon Bibby at simonb@2300club.org.

More Good News from George Lepley

The 2300 Club’s 2018 John Easson Award winner, George Lepley, kicked off his season with a class win on the Cambrian earlier in the year. He’s since been carrying on the good form by winning the championship! Very well done to a very worthy winner.

If you are a young rally driver or co driver, entry for the 2019 John Easson Award opens again on 1st of September. Check out this website for details nearer the time. Get your 2020 season of to a flying start.

The Wait is Nearly Over!

The regulations and entry form for the 2300 Club of Blackburn’s eagerly-awaited Andy Mort Tour will go live on their website on Sunday, August 4 at 10am.
And it promises to be a memorable day in more ways than one, with the organisers mapping out a route with a difference this year.
“We have spent a long time making sure it will be substantially different from previous years, and we’ve found some lanes that many people will probably have never seen before,” explained club chairman Neil Molyneux.
“All of these roads are non-damaging and perfectly passable in a road car, so there’s no need for sump-guards or roll cages. There is no competition element, it’s all about the enjoyment of driving on some of the best roads in Lancashire and Yorkshire.
“We also looking forward to having Paddy Hopkirk with us for the day, which will make this year’s Andy Mort Tour very, very special. Although Paddy won’t be driving, he’ll be at the start at West Bradford Village Hall to meet everyone, and flag the cars off. He will then join us at the lunch halt at Blubberhouses before greeting the finishers back at West Bradford.
“The day will finish in style with a talk by Paddy on his momentous career in motorsport, hosted by the equally-legendary rally co-driver and 2300 Club member  Ian Grindrod.
“It promises to be a fantastic day out for any motoring enthusiast, and we anticipate a lot of interest.”

*The  Andy Mort Tour is a non-competitive ‘Touring Assembly’ starting and finishing at  West Bradford Village Hall, near Clitheroe on Saturday, October 19.
It is run in honour of club member Andy Mort who was competition liaison officer on the Tour of Mull Rally for many years, and a top National-level navigator in his own right. He sadly lost his life in an accident on the 2015 event.
Open to any ‘vehicles of interest’, the Tour will see crews embarking on a scenic route of at least 100 miles using simple navigation of tulip diagrams or map references, with code-boards and marshalled checkpoints.
With a limit of 50 cars allowed, the organisers expect the entry list to fill very quickly.
Entry fee for the Andy Mort Tour is £50 for a car and two occupants. Extra passengers are £15 each.
For enthusiasts who cannot take part in the Tour, but would like to come to the Paddy Hopkirk talk, tickets are available at £10 each for the evening meal and entry to see the guest speaker. Pre-booking for these tickets is essential.
Regulations and entry forms for the Andy Mort Tour, along with booking information for Paddy’s talk, will be on the club website www.2300club.org or their facebook site: Tour of Mull by 2300 Club.

Amazing News from George Lepley the John Easson Award Winner

“We have won the BTRDA Silver Star in the mighty Avenger, beating all the Escort BDA’s, Millington’s, modern R2’s etc! It was great to win 4 from 4 events. Needing to finish 6th or higher on the Nicky Grist event, we finished 3rd.”

“Tyre choice and being held up by catching a car in stage 1 was challenging, but our result was all the more sweet by beating the best of the British Historics! A great result for the team. The amount of PR that the car has created has been phenomenal, it’s everywhere and everyone has talked about it.”

“I would like to thank everyone at 2300 club for putting your faith in me and I’m proud to be the ambassador for the Award.As for future plans, the Avenger is on its way back to Baz Jordan. We are currently 2nd O/A in the Gold Star too and we are hoping do at least the Woodpecker, if possible the Trackrod, in order to gain some more points for the championship. I have put an entry in for the Woodpecker.  For now, I’ll try to enjoy the summer break but get plans in place for the last 2 BTRDA rounds followed by 2020.”