There were no less than eight German crews who made the trip over for the RoTT and some of them picked up awards, they were certainly the loudest group at the ceremony on Sunday night! Thomas Koerner’s navigator Udo Schauss, on his first ever RoTT, received the ‘Newcomer Navigator Award.’
The first ‘All female’ crew to finish and so receive a Special Award were Germans Barbara Richter and Britta-Christin Rehberg, they were so thrilled with the rally that they were already planning to enter the 2024 event at the finish line!
Barbara, “We had a lot of fun, it was really good, the first time for me as a driver and I had a great co-driver in Britta!
Britta; “It was very tough, it was difficult but I did my best, the rally was special we loved it and we also had other German crews here for camaraderie, there are seven of them.”
Barbara “Lots of crews come over from Germany as well because we have more things we can do here. I don’t know the words, but the tests where we can go fast, the amazing roads, in Germany we have no tests. In Germany we have to drive slowly, there are too many controls, in fact lots of controls.
“Britta and I are already talking about coming back next year!”
Regular German competitor Klaus Mueller and Italian navigator Rolf Pellini are already HERO-ERA podium sitters, such as in The Winter Challenge to Monte Carlo earlier this year. They are now both lying second in their respective HERO Cup for Drivers and the Golden Roamer Championship for Navigators. Klaus is just 3.5 points behind Paul Bloxidge going into LeJog next month, whilst Rolf is .25 of a point behind Sally Woof!
The ‘Lite’ division of the RAC Rally of the Tests was an enormous success. One of the instigators, Malcolm Dunderdale fished third with Anita Wickens navigating, but the win for the Charge of the ‘Lite’ Brigade, went to Steve and Julia Robertson in their MGB GT V8. Julia; “It has proved to be an enormous success, I think even more will do it next year.”
And a quick note to follow up on Paul Crosby’s rally moto of ‘Never give up,’ David Hemstock and Colin Readwin’s 1982 Austin Allegro suffered collapsed suspension. Drooping to one side, they couldn’t continue on Saturday, but they went away to regroup, waited for B & Q to open early Sunday morning and bought wood which they used to reinforce the suspension and got back into the rally to finish in their wooden Allegro!
Niall Frost, winner RAC Rally of the Tests 2023
Niall, “Incredible. It has still not sunk in yet, we just had a great fun time in the car. It’s been a really, really good event, we’ve just enjoyed it. The result came from great teamwork, but also from some tremendous driving by Dan.
“I absolutely agree with Dan that this is the big event to win. I’ve looked up to the winners of this event since I started rallying in 2015, and to follow them is just a dream come true.”
Dan Willan winner RAC Rally of the Tests 2023
Dan; “I mean, the car has been amazing. Full marks to Kevin Savage who looks after the Volvo, it didn’t miss a beat all weekend.
“There’s no greater event to win in this sport, it’s unreal, to manage the double is absolutely great.”
Julia and Steve Robertson, MGB GT V8, winners of the first ever RAC Rally of the Tests ’Lite’ version
Julia; “A great success from my perspective, I think it’s the first time I’ve come to the end of the Rally of the Tests and can actually say I enjoyed it! It takes the stress off all the plotting, I mean, there was enough stress in the rally, but not in excess”.
Steve, “Yes, I think with a few tweaks you could have even greater success and maybe get more people on it next year. Congratulations!”
Paul Crosby and Ali Procter, Mini Cooper S, 3rd place RAC Rally of the Tests
Paul; “We have had a roller coaster three days, unbelievable highs and lows. And luckily today was a high. We were in the doldrums yesterday with our performances, but we had a clean run today. It just goes to prove you should never give up. I’m delighted, Ali has done a fantastic job as always and I’m absolutely chuffed with the podium.”
Ali; “Yeah, a really challenging day! We struggled this morning with some car issues then they threw some test puzzles at us and just general issues this morning, but this afternoon we got our heads together, then had a good afternoon with no mistakes.”
Kurt Vanderspinnen, Lotus Cortina, 8th place and class winner.
“Well, we overshot a junction at a right turn then we had to reverse for about five/six metres, and then a long corner which was very, very slippery, it was a long turn and at the end I couldn’t hold the car any longer and we ran off. So, we got stuck there, luckily, one of the mechanical crews arrived around 20 minutes later to pull us so we could continue to finish, but our result was gone. So that’s rally.”