The huge Mercedes 300SE of John Bateson and Mark I’Anson won the eighth running of the Rally of the Tests, the three-day event that recreates the RAC Rallies of the 1950s and early ’60s.
In one of the most competitive events yet, crews tackled a range of 16 regularity sections and 30 special tests as the route took over 80 starters from Bournemouth to Llandudno.
The opening evening was capped by a special test in the Bournemouth Winter Gardens, while day two took in Devon and Somerset and claimed the Alfa Romeo of former rallycross champion Dermot Carnegie with a blown engine.
Another challenging day then took crews north, with a late evening test at Swynnerton proving a highlight of the event. Despite many challenges, Bateson (above) led most of the rally and headed into the third and final day in a snowy North Wales with a lead of just over a minute.
Bateson arrived back at the finish in Llandudno with his winning margin unchanged, following tests in Clocaenog forest and on the Great Orme. The Mini Cooper of Frank Lenehan and Cath Woodman chased him all the way as other leading contenders hit problems. Into third came the Porsche 911 of Howard Warren and Brian Goff, although the post-1962 car was ineligible for an overall award.