Russel Brookes returned to competitive rallying with an emphatic victory in November’s two-day RAC International Historic Rally.
Brookes, co-driven by Fleet Street journalist and Formula One commentator Maurice Hamilton, dominated the event from start to finish and was fastest or joint fastest on all but three of the 17 stages.
It was the first time that the former British Champion had driven Beatty Crawford’s left-hand drive Porsche 911. “I’m out of practice and the opening stage came as a bit of a shock,” admitted Brookes. “But the car ran perfectly, the organisation and the stages were good and it has reminded me of just how enjoyable rallying can be.”
Czech driver Jan Trajbold finished second in another 911 to reclaim the FIA European Rally Trophy he also held in 1992 and ’95, while Swede Stig Kristiansson completed a Porsche 1-2-3.
Paul Kynaston was denied second place when the remould rear tyre on his 4.2-litre Sunbeam ‘Tiger let go of all its tread, while Adrian Kermode was also chasing hard after Brookes when he slipped into the lake at Woburn. To make matters worse he was struck by Rob Pitcher’s Lotus Cortina which became the third car to end up in the water.
Dave Preece’s 911 suffered engine failure in the run back to the overnight halt in Circencester, while Motor Sport publisher Jeremy Vaughan was another casualty, his Mini’s clutch disintegrating on SS8 in Caerwent.
Kynaston recovered to fourth, and Roger Tello’s Mini Cooper S was an impressive interloper in fifth. Michael Russell’s Cortina came sixth. The one day National Rally Britannia was won by Gordon Howie and Graham Carter in an MG Midget. The Classic event, for newer cars up to 1979, was dominated by the Triumph TR7 of Charles Golding and Preston Ayres.