VSCC Members Conquer Annual Overnight Measham Challenge
This past weekend saw the Vintage Sports-Car Club host another successful edition of its Measham Rally – an event first held in 1950 – with an impressive ninety percent of the entry successfully completing the overnight navigational winter challenge over Saturday 16 and Sunday 17 January.
On Saturday evening, thirty Pre-war cars set off from 9.00pm to take on the testing 180 mile route through North Yorkshire before returning to the welcoming start/finish venue at the Thirsk Auction Mart located to the south-west of the town from 5.30am, having battled through both spells of heavy localised snowfall and treacherously icy country roads through the night.
A total of thirty-two Time Controls and a further twenty-three coded Route Boards lined the route, the former manned by a team of over 70 volunteer Marshals, both Club Members and Non-Members alike, who again proved to be the real heroes as they stood out in the elements for the duration to ensure a safe and enjoyable Rally for our crews.
With the Club’s reigning Champion Navigator, Annabel Jones in the passenger seat, it was little surprise to see William Ainscough atop the standings in the ‘relative’ comfort of his Frazer-Nash/BMW 319 Saloon, just a handful of points ahead of the similar 319/55 open Sports model of VSCC stalwarts, Mark Garfitt and Dood Pearce, to claim the Richard Dames-Longworth Trophy.
Competing in one of the oldest cars on the day, another of the Club’s top Co-Drivers, Robert Ellis also triumphed as he guided Chris Leach home in the 1924 Alvis 12/50 Ducksback to win the Measham Trophy as the top-placed Pre-1931 Vintage finisher. It was double success for the famous Coventry-based Pre-war manufacturer as Nicholas Wright and Rob Rhodes led home the Speed Category 2 cars to win the Jeddere-Fisher Trophy in their Alvis 12/50 Tourer.
More regularly seen behind the wheel of an ERA, VSCC Hill Climb Champion, James Baxter regularly takes on the annual navigation challenge, successfully completing this year’s event in his 1929 Chrysler 70 Sports Coupe. Philip Tillyard ensured further Intermarque Trophy points for Frazer Nash, winning the Novice Class with Keith Banks in his TT Replica whilst father/son team, Ron and Matthew Birkett guided the family’s Ford Model A Trials car to victory in the Champagne Class.