The Endurance Rally Association’s ninth Flying Scotsman Rally ended with a nail-biting finish as the winning crew of Paul Crosby and Ali Proctor suffered two breakdowns in their 1939 MG TB Supercharged (above) on the final run for the checkered flag at Gleneagles, Scotland.
The event started at Slaley Hall in Hexham, Northumberland, with more than 750 miles of rallying facing the 103 crews. Having stormed into the lead at the end of day two, leap-frogging the 1937 Lagonda LG4 of John Abel and Leigh Powley, the MG then suffered broken rear suspension issues but got back on the road thanks to the efforts of the ERA’s mechanics.
Only 24 seconds separated the winners from Abel and Powley, who have now finished 2nd for the past two years. Bill Cleyndert and Dan Harrison took 3rd in their 1928 Ford Model A.
At the finish the victorious Crosby said: “I’m absolutely overwhelmed because we never thought we had any chance of coming here and winning. We’ve done two Flying Scotsman events, and Ali didn’t make a mistake all weekend.
“We thought it would be a big-engined car that would come here and win it. They rearranged the test very slightly this year to make it a lot fairer for smaller cars, so we were good on some tests and the big cars were good on others. A brilliant event, incredibly well organized, and amazing amazing result for us.”
There was also a win for the oldest Pioneer car in the rally, the 1907 Itala 40, crewed by David Ayre and Anthony Thompson, which had competed in the ERA’s Road to Mandalay and Peking to Paris Motor Challenge.
“This event just gets better and better,” said Fred Gallagher, ERA Rally Director. “The standard of cars and driving is excellent, but the credit must go to the navigators who faced an intense challenge over the three days. Our thanks go to every crew and marshal who once again made it a fantastic event for the vintage motorist.”
Two special awards were presented at the prizegiving dinner at the luxurious Gleneagles Hotel. The Concours d’Elegance went to the 1938 Jaguar SS100 of Clint and Brad Smith, while the Spirit of the Rally award was presented to Mitch and Wendy Gross in a 1938 BMW 328.
The 2018 Flying Scotsman Rally will take place from Thursday April 26 to Sunday April 29, marking its 10th anniversary by returning to its southern roots. Entries will open at the end of May 2017.
For more details including all the results and the latest updates on the forthcoming ERA events, please visit www.endurorally.com