I was interested to read your “Rally Review” in the April issue as you say, as usual, a lot of very sensible things. Many years ago I used to compete in rallies and even won a “pot” or two. I gave this up when my A35 was found to be lacking in go compared to the 1500 Anglias, etc. I turned to marshalling. Luckily, at this time, we had one of the “old school” for a Chairman and he was rather fussy about some things. Honesty, for instance, sadly lacking nowadays in all branches of life, not just motoring sport. I soon came across the chap who was convinced that to knock the baffles out of his silencer made the car go faster and did just that. No more speed but plenty more noise. I fell it my duty to report such noise polluters and soon came to be known for it. One competitor whom I had booked and who was penalised for it appeared on the next event with a completely new system. Strange, I thought?
What this is leading up to is that too many marshals take up this branch of the sport because they can’t afford a really competitive machine. After all, what does a full house Escort set you back these days? No, these new marshals, although keen, have nine times out of ten never been to a marshal’s training session or even a pre-rally briefing. If they had they would know that just to mark their report sheet that so-and-so in a Bloggsmobile was putting hens off their lay in the next County due to his lack of exhaust silencing, carb. silencer, dud bodywork, etc. Don’t be too harsh. If the poor bloke has obviously had a scrape going through a gateway, mention it yes, and ask him to do something about it before he proceeds.
There are a lot of rally cowboys and they are recognisable a mile off. Just note ’em and mark their card once or twice. They soon learn. To the improvement of our sport and the peace of the local natives. They usually work on farms at hours which start very early as is shown by the number we meet as we come “off duty”.
One further point; I have always found our policemen to be wonderful. Even had ’em manning a control with me once. Very well behaved competitors that night! Strange?
Broadstairs R. W. A. Pugh