After 7 regularities and 9 tests, the cars headed to the TC section at the end of the day, a TC section usually sets the pulses racing, and this was no exception. Although the military complex at Leconfield was not as tough as the previous night in Bramham, it was taxing nonetheless, even if it wasn’t as fast. Most crews loved it and returned to Rally HQ in York with great tales to tell and times to compare. Dan Willan was still top of the tree, whilst Paul Dyas described the TC section as turning “left, right, left right, there wasn’t a straight in there, it was like a bit of Corsica in Yorkshire, fantastic!”
Not all the cars were fast front-running machines. Whilst Kurt’s Lotus Cortina harked back to 1964 and pointed towards 1966 when Jim Clark drove a Lotus Cortina on the RAC Rally, the belt driven 1968 DAF 55 of Dutch father and son Marcel and Geert Kistemaker was at the other end of the field at a rather more sedate pace, but none the less an ex-works rally car.
DAF used to send a three-car team to the RAC Rally in the mid to late sixties and early seventies, achieving team award status with the likes of David Van Lennep (who drove in the London Sydney Marathon) and the Kistemaker’s DAF 55 is based on the works machine with the original wheels. Geert; “I built it as a surprise for my Dad. Although it is a little bit fragile, the front suspension is the weak point, I think we have hit a couple of things, so the lower wishbones are now a little bit bent. And yes, it is belt driven, two belts and no differential!”
Hopefully, that Dutch piece of RAC rally history will finish the 21st version of the RAC Rally of the Tests on Sunday to complete the full journey after the surprise for Kistemaker Senior!
At the front, however, it will be all eyes on the final TC section to end the rally at the Catterick Barracks to see who can hold their nerve and whose cars can hold together.
Robert Clifton, Tom Horst, Porsche 944
Robert; “It was a poor day yesterday so we were trying to make up some places and got a little bit overzealous. We had some really good times but unfortunately a tree got the better of us on the last regularity. It was very slippy, Yeah, we got caught out on a 90 right and just took the ditch.
It seems cosmetic at the moment so yes, we’re going to carry on, there’s no chance we’re not going to continue.
The mechanics took a strap to the front, so they pulled it out a little bit with their 4 x 4, we’ve lost a couple of lights, but the spots are still working. So, we’re going to carry on.”
Geert Kistemaker, 1968 DAF 55
“Yes actually it’s my dad who used to rally in the early 70s with a DAF 55 and I tried to find his car but it didn’t exist anymore. So, I found one and built this one up, white with a matt black bonnet and the lights the same, the same wheels, roll cage, everything. I was able to buy this car and I bought it as a surprise for my Dad and built it entirely from all the photos, we even had the mirror in the right place. He was kind of surprised by it and of course, was very happy. Now we often do a little rally together, but this is a big rally!”