29th February 2020

Returning to the Lynn Charity Stages for the second time after a retirement last year, Terry and Mark were looking forward to a successful rally hopefully beating their seeding of sixth.  An early start in the morning with scrutineering at 7am meant an overnight stay for Terry and a long drive for Mark at 4am!  Once the sun rose the pair were greeted with thick fog which would make conditions particularly difficult. However at the drivers briefing before the action started, the decision was made by the organisers to have a low speed recce where crews could make notes of where the corners were, what to look out for and where it could all go wrong!

First stage in, Terry made his now usual fantastic start… third fastest stage time and taking advantage of Ross Daniels and Paul Mankins retirement in car 1 to be right in the mix from the start.  It wasn’t all trouble free however, after hitting a bump, the crew went too fast into the following 90L/90L/90R and went very wide missing out the 90R completely. Terry and Mark were lucky not to get penalised for that indiscretion!

Second stage in and conditions were barely any better.  Very slippy with the mist making the venue really tricky in places.  Confidence was getting higher after a great time in the previous stage so Terry decided to push a little more.  A fantastic start to the stage came undone when on a long 6R with the foot flat to the floor, the Subaru slide wide, back end came round and we ended up in the field on the infield!  There were a few swear words over the intercom but no damage and a time seven seconds faster that stage one.  Stephen and Jack Tilburn had issues in car 4 which meant Terry and Mark kept third overall.  All was not lost and there were still six more stages to go.

Stage three and the weather was finally clearing, the course getting drier and visibility getting much better.  This was where all the other drivers gained more confidence and the pair lost their advantage… Terry being really good at driving on greasy and wet conditions. Stage three again started well, but after a few miles there was a problem picking up fuel from the fuel tank exiting corners.  Another frustration that didn’t help but the car made it round and it was promptly refuelled!

The afternoon went without issue, the weather improving to one of the best days all year!  Each time round, Terry was gaining confidence and going quicker and quicker.  Stage six the pair got caught behind a Mitsubishi for a whole lap costing some seconds, but not enough to alter the final standings.

The recovering Escort of the Tilburn’s making up time hand over fist after their problems in stage two overtook the crew, finally finishing fourth overall, third in class meaning the pair took away first in class award.

Both really enjoyed the stages, well run, organised and a great venue all mean Terry and Mark will consider going next year.  Winning first in class also meant 25% off next year’s event which always helps!  A great incentive to get cars competing next year, which more events should do.  Abig well done to car 3, Ray Brammer and Mark Loomes in the Subaru Impreza S8 WRC showing the rest of us the way, winning all but one stage.  Terry and Mark followed the car into the stage for the afternoon and watching it set off was fantastic!  Terry tried to take the first corner flat just like he saw the WRC car before, but the car ended up going very wide so thought it best leaving that to the bigger brother of Terry’s car!

Next on the calendar are the Rockingham Stages at the beginning of December which the pair are very much looking forward to.

Results at www.lynnstages.co.uk