British returnees boost the Historic class

Three returning UK drivers complete the Historic class at Sol RB22. Scotland’s Robin Hamilton will pit his recently-built Gleaner Oil and Gas Talbot Sunbeam Lotus against the MkII Ford Escorts of Sean Kukula, whose entry was confirmed last month, Dick Mauger and Chris Shooter, along with the local entries of John Corbin and Harold Morley.

Hamilton and wife Vanessa marked their 10th wedding anniversary with a trip to Sol RB17 with a Talbot Sunbeam Ti and returned the following year with their MG Metro 6R4, twice winning their class. Three-time top female co-driver in the Scottish Tarmac Championship (STC) Vanessa will enjoy an outing at KotH, while Barbados regular Steve McNulty will sit with Robin, who has twice won the STC, for Sol RB22.

Of the new car Hamilton said: “We built the Sunbeam in-house using a lot of parts gathered over the years and it’s as near to a works car as possible. I usually build my own engines, but decided to treat myself for my big birthday, so this one has been built by Phil Davison, who built the works engines for Tony Pond and Henri Toivonen. I’ve done a few test days to shake the car down before competing at Weston Park for its maiden event, where it ran faultlessly with Vanessa co-driving. Then I did Ingliston a few weeks ago with Steve; we had a few wee issues with the car but had a steady run mostly and set some good times – shame there wasn’t a historic class.”

Dick Mauger, a veteran rallyist of more than 50 years, returns in a Major Farm Services Ford Escort MkII to compete for the seventh time, although he missed Sol RB19 after falling ill after KotH. He has finished five times, winning Modified 6 in a Nissan Micra (Sol RB14), also matching that year’s 33rd overall placing in Sol RB18 in a SuperModified 2 Escort. Now in his 70s, Mauger and his hugely experienced co-driver Liz Jordan, who marks 50 years of rallying this October, have the distinction of being the oldest crew in the event . . . but that does not mean they can be discounted by the opposition.

Chris Shooter and partner Bev Le Good return for a sixth time to compete in their Sparrowhill Cars Escort, although they have returned to the island twice for holidays outside rally time. Regular competitors in the British Historic Rally Championship (BHRC) from 2006 to 2011, winning their class in 2008 and collecting the Shekhar Mehta ‘Spirit of Rallying’ Award the following year, they limited their outings after that, competing occasionally on the Tour of Flanders, Rally Isle of Man and Wales Rally GB. They have been class-winners in Flanders and in 2013 finished 10th overall on Rally Isle of Man and 29th overall on Wales Rally GB National and were class-winners on Sol RB15.

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