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London Lisbon Torque Day Eight

The plucky Mini Cooper S of Dick and Harry Baines ran out of puff on the long hard climbs at altitude between controls on the morning of Day 8, as the powerful Datsun 240Z of Nick Maris and Henry Carr used all their horses to eat into their lead. The gap is now down to 28 seconds as the Datsun crew were the most successful overall today with 32 seconds in penalties, but Dick and Harry Baines held on, including finding the hidden layby and Timing Point, which if you missed it, you would find a roadside board clearly marked ‘NO’ giving you a clue!

London Lisbon Torque Day Eight
*Maris, Carr Datsun 240Z closes in on leading Mini of Dick and Harry Baines

*Battle of Porsches still rages as Sutton, Northmore back into third

*The Coxon, Hawkins’ Healey record best performance of morning and take ninth

*Clerk of the Course Guy Woodcock summarises London Lisbon and looks to event climax

Stephen Owens and Pete Johnson lost some time here in their Porsche 911 contributing to their demotion back to fourth. Tony Sutton and Bernard Northmore were consistent for most of the day in their 911 SC, apart from as Bernard said; ‘a bit of a drift of the clock!.’

The most successful crew of the morning runs were David Coxon and Peter Hawkins in their grunty Austin Healey 3000, they lost just eight seconds in penalties. The team are making great progress with real commitment, whether on a regularity or a test. They should be mighty on Day 9’s Caramulo Hill Climb, a treat which lays in store for all the remaining 39 runners in the 2022 London Lisbon.

Another crew providing great action and thoroughly enjoying themselves are Paul and Sandra Heaney in their Triumph TR6, a car that Paul says was still in bits up to a few weeks ago. Never the less, the car is totally together now, they are good to watch accompanied by a super TR6 sound track. The Heaneys are up to 13th overall and first in their class.

Roy Stephenson and Peter Robinson’s Datsun 240Z was a patient at the roadside as Roy did his best to turn tech doctor with spanners and ratchet straps to try and fix the front suspension tie bar which lost its location as Roy reversed in a hurry. The wheel lurched forward, free to hit the bodywork. The crew patched as much as they could until the super sweeps arrived like the cavalry to finish the job.

Guy Woodcock, Clerk of the Course London Lisbon, HERO-ERA Competition Director

Guy; “It's been great, the weather has been unbelievable for the last few days. We’ve had a couple of showers of rain and one wet day, but we couldn't have asked for better weather this time of year. The roads have been awesome and the competition is hotting up. I think the lead has been halved today! It's day eight so there's a few more, shall we say intricacies, going into the route book and people are falling foul of the little nuances. I think some people are actually getting a bit laid back because it's day eight, so it’s my chance to play with their brains a bit, which is what's going to happen tomorrow and day 10.”

There was a ‘NO’ board and a hidden a lay by which quite a few people seem to have got wrong on a regularity today...

Guy; “I think quite a few people got it right as well. I mean, that's where the differences are on these roads, they're not particularly challenging for navigation in terms of junctions so I've got to use what's available to me to get a result, if you see a ‘NO’ board don't drive past it, that's the message.

“The last three times we've run this event it never seems to be over until the last couple of days, and even the last time it almost went down to the wire on the last regularity. So it's never over till the fat lady sings as the saying goes. Hopefully we have got a great day tomorrow. We finish off with two runs up Caramulo Hillclimb, which everybody is looking forward to. Day 10 is a day for the drivers, it's only three regularities but five tests.

“I think Dick and Harry have got it all to lose, unfortunately. They just need to keep their heads and push on doing the great job they are doing. You know, you have to consider it's only Harry's third or fourth event, I believe. They've got the some of the experts behind them Nick Maris, Henry Carr and Tony Sutton and Bernard Northmore, who are all hot on their heels. They just need to keep their heads.

“I think Steven Owens and Pete Johnson had a reasonably good run, but they fell foul of the lay by and hesitated too long, they dropped 20 to 30 seconds. So that kept them back behind Bernard and Tony.”

Dick and Harry Baines, Mini Cooper S

Harry; “ There were some very steep regularities this morning but the last one had the two last timing controls very close together and we couldn't gain time back in between, we don’t have the power, so lost quite a bit of time, but apart from that it was good.

“This morning you talked to us about the lack of puff from the engine, this afternoon we managed to get the turn that a lot of people missed so we got that one, but average I think is the best description of our performance today. It seems other people have had problems as well and so we'll see what the results say later.

Dick; “No real comments other than it's been a bit of a scrappy day, but we've got through it. That's the main thing, isn't it? We have to keep it going and try to stay on time.”

Tony Sutton and Bernard Northmore, Porsche 911 SC

Bernard; “I think we've done ok today. We've been fairly consistent and we're aware of the fact that a lot of others had issues, we haven't had any major issues. We had a little problem with the clock drifting a little bit, which upsets our timing of course. I think it's probably the same for crews at the front but without having seen the results, that might be presumptuous.”

Tony; “I’m blaming the clock! It's so we have an excuse for not being spot on, it's been okay. We just kept her on, we didn't experience any shockers, which was great, and I think this was just about keeping on with a day or so to go. Consistency should pay off.

“We hope with some tests tomorrow maybe, hopefully, we can go well. We were half a cars length past the ’NO’ board when we saw it, so we were able to get in and then almost put the car into the shrubbery, I was getting enthusiastic about putting it down that narrow track!”

Sandra and Paul Heaney, Triumph TR6

Sandra; “It's been interesting. The trip has broken a couple of times, the stopwatch has not given me the times I wanted, but we've treated it as a learning experience. I think we might be first in class, but we're only first in class because I think somebody has dropped out!

Paul, “I've been trying my best, it’s been so much fun, these roads are just absolutely fantastic. Not just the regularities, the tests, but the intermediate road journeys as well, they are just a pleasure.

“This car was in bits a week before the journey, it only came out of a garage on the Thursday before, I'm so pleased with how it’s running and we’ve really been enjoying it.

“We had to rewire the horn, there was a petrol leak but only twiddly bits, nothing really. We haven't bothered the sweeps!”

Elke and Oliver Treutlein, Porsche 911

Oliver; “ I would say we have good progress from a complete disaster, one after the other at the beginning to having happier days. Yes, we are very happy and really enjoying it.

Elke; “Yes the navigation is hard at times but I'm a rookie in this and I have to learn a lot but the landscape and the routes we are going, it's so beautiful and so well organised by HERO-ERA.

Oliver; “I think it cannot be better, we are so happy. I had done my whole life a lot of little rallies and also with bikes and other vintage cars. But what I have to say is really so special is the selection of roads which HERO have done, they're absolutely outstanding. It's unbelievable.

“The car is good, it is going well, it drinks a little bit more oil than gas, but it's fine.”

Elke: “I've been to Spain several times, but I've never been to Lisbon. So that's the first time for me. I'm looking forward to hopefully getting down to Lisbon. That's the aim!”

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