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Abingdon Carnival Stages

This year’s stages at Dalton Barracks in Oxfordshire were probably the hottest ever, with cars and crews certainly feeling the heat. Despite thunderstorms on the Saturday evening, the event was lucky with stages staying dry and away from the forecasted downpours until the last of the competitors had finished when the heavens opened and the resulting thunderstorm was of epic proportions.

All photos credited to Walk Motorsport Media

Out of our competing LCMC crews, top finisher was Tim Baker and Emma Clarke in their Talbot Sunbeam. They reported a great trouble free day on the stages, despite both the crew and the car feeling the heat, with just one spin on the second to last stage but an otherwise clean run finishing a creditable 11th overall and 4th in Class D. Tim was especially complimentary that Emma soldiered on despite badly spraining her ankle in a rabbit hole minutes after arriving at the venue, resulting in a long wait in A&E on the way home.

Next finisher was Stefan Morris bringing his Ford Escort home 13th overall, 4th in Class C. First time pairing with navigator Mark Ammonds and being new to the venue saw an over-cautious start. Despite having a spin on the next stage they managed a time 23 seconds quicker even with the spin! The pair reported being neat and tidy through Stage 3 with confidence growing between them. SS4 saw them 4secs faster than on SS3 catching and passing two cars costing small amounts of time. The shorter SS5 again saw the charging pair catching cars costing a bit of time and also causing the temperature in the car to escalate! The pair were caught napping on SS6 which saw them tying for 3rd place in class with only one stage left. Unfortunately catching a car and then having a spin on the same corner as they did in SS2, but in the other direction, saw them losing out on a trophy by ten seconds. No problems with the car were reported all day although both crew members reported some extreme overheating themselves.

Richard Fletcher and Cassey Romeo finished 24th overall, 4th in Class B in their Citroen C2.

Dan Petrie didn’t have quite the day he had hoped for following a last minute call up. Lying 13th overall and 3rd in class after four stages navigating for rally novice Richard Weatherley in his Fiesta R2, all was going well until third gear decided it didn’t want to play ball any more. With his driver doing the event only to gain signatures to upgrade his licence it was decided to sit out of SS5 & SS6 and then go out on SS7 and take a maximum to complete the objective.

Jack Bowen navigating for Alex Stubbs in his Ford Escort Mk 2 on only his third ever rally had a challenging morning. SS1 saw them catch the car in front on the first lap although he did get out of the way as soon as possible. Unfortunately they reported cooking the brakes towards the end of the stage and dropped time having to pump the pedal. Despite this, they also caught the next car right at the end of the stage. SS2 was a lot cleaner, however a nasty vibration from the propshaft developed during the stage, as well as a lot of clattering from the axle. Again, they caught both of the cars in front, managing to set 20th fastest time, holding 25th overall and 9th in class. Sadly, upon inspection in service, it turned out that the four link bars were bent, and with not carrying any spares and no other competitors in the service park having any that fitted, their event came to a premature end.

Club members Si and Tom Williams also made the trek to Oxfordshire to provide much welcomed marshal assistance on the event.

Additional photos provided courtesy of official event photographer Mark Sims at


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