THE fifth Flying Scotsman Rally, which sees enthusiasts drive from London to Edinburgh in a pre-war car, proved a vintage year with a nail-biting finish that saw two women snatching second place overall, thought to be the highest position for any all-female crew on an international Historic Rally.
The winning crew of Gareth Burnett and Jeremy Haylock brought their 1934 Talbot 105 across the finish line a mere seven seconds ahead of Sue Shoosmith and Trina Hartley, who had hauled their big Bentley up the leader-board for nearly 1,000 miles over the three-day event.
The top ten finishers featured four Bentleys and three Talbot 105 Alpines. Interlopers were an Alfa Romeo 6C, a 1500cc Riley 12/4 and a Lagonda M45R.
The oldest car taking part, a 1912 Chalmers 10 crewed by Robert Abrey and Brad Webb, boasted the second-largest engine in the event at 7500cc, just 500cc short of the 8000cc engine in the ex-Jack Sears 1931 Bentley Speed Six entered by Neil Corner and Dick Crossthwaite.
Leaving Hertfordshire with almost 1,000 miles in three days ahead of them, more than 100 vintage cars from 18 different countries – a record entry for the Flying Scotsman – took on the challenge to journey to Gleneagles Hotel north of Edinburgh. This year’s route threaded its way up the backbone of England to the Scottish borders over remote roads through the Derbyshire Peak District and Yorkshire Moors.
With entries from across Europe and further afield the competitive spirit was even stronger than previous events, and with no fewer than 27 different makes of cars entered.
Organised by the Endurance Rally Association (ERA), next year’s Flying Scotsman takes place in April. For more information on the Flying Scotsman and the ERA’s next event – the Peking to Paris Rally – call +44 (0) 1235 831221 or visit www.endurorally.com.