The 2009 Tour Britannia was held September 7-9 on a route that included stints at famed Silverstone, a race at Rockingham, a stage at Belvoir Castle, followed by another set of racing tests at Cadwell Park – the mini-Nürburgring of England. And that doesn’t include the final action-packed day.
The Aston Martin DB5 of Roy and Charlotte Stephenson took overall victory on the 2009 Tour Britannia, winning the Index of Performance category and having led from the first leg. In the hotly contested Competition category, honours went to the Porsche 911 of father and son pairing Nick and Harry Whale, while the Regularity category was won by Bob and Anne Linwood in their Citroen SM.
The third and final leg of Tour Britannia, Britain’s only Race Tour for classic cars, took competitors from Harrogate, where two stages were held in the showground, to Scarborough via a short stage at Duncombe Park. Oliver’s Mount presented drivers the biggest challenge of the day, with two double-loop tests over the fast tarmac. After a traditional fish & chip lunch on Scarborough’s west pier, the field returned to Harrogate via one stage at Castle Howard and two tests at Harewood.
In the hard fought Competition category, the De Tomaso Pantera of Robert Hartley and Adrian Tribe held sway until they failed to report for the second run at Oliver’s Mount. Nick and Harry Whale, who had been in contention throughout, maintained their pace through the day to take victory in spite of having to contend with gearbox problems, which caused the loss of fifth and occasionally third gears. Michael Schryver and Simon Hadfield had pressed throughout in their fleet Elan 26R to take second, while John Clarke and Emma-Jane Gilbart-Smith secured third in their Porsche 911RS.
Harry Whale, on his driving debut on Tour Britannia (he co-dove his father in 2006 at the age of sixteen) took his share of the competition, driving the races at Silverstone and Rockingham. “It’s been wonderful, because everyone has been so helpful and friendly. I look forward to coming back.”
Bob and Anne Linwood consolidated their lead in the Regularity Category in their Citroen SM in spite of pressure from Brad and Barry Mottier’s Datsun 240Z. John Ruston and Jeremy Haylock retain third in their Porsche. Classic tour “veterans” the Linwoods praised the values of Tour Britannia: “This is the best organised of the Tours and what’s more it provides the best food!”
Roger Kilty and Lynette Banks had driven with verve, offering spectators a vision of how rally Escorts should be seen and took a fine second in the Index. The amazing Bentley 3/8 (8 litre blown engine) demonstrated that “older” technology can provide performance and entertainment in the hands of the brave – Jonathan Turner and William Medcalf to finish third in the Index.
2009 Tour Britannia Photo Gallery (click image for larger picture)