The two-week Baltic Classic Rally 2017 started in Copenhagen on Sunday 28th May. Endurance Rally Association’s inaugural Baltic Classic Rally took entrants through Sweden, Finland, Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania and Poland before finishing in Berlin on Saturday 10th June, covering over 4,200 kilometres.
ERA Rally Director Fred Gallagher said: “What a fantastic two weeks of rallying. We have been lucky to use some of the same terrain as the Rally greats as well as enjoying amazing scenery and great company. The Baltic Classic has been a great success and is sure to become a regular fixture in the ERA calendar.”
Vintage Bentleys dominated the Baltic Classic Rally 2017, taking thetop three spots in the Vintageants category. Peking to Paris European Cup winners Bill Cleyndert and Jacqui Norman added to their trophy cabinet, which also includes win of the 2015 Road to Mandalay, after holding their lead from the Copenhagen start to the Berlin finish in the 1925 Bentley 3-4 1/2.
Cleyndert recounted that for him, driving the WRC stages was a real thrill but the entire route was fantastic. Norman added: “It’s been a fabulous rally with some really tough navigation to keep us on our toes. I thought that we’d blown it in the airfield regularity and was very relieved to see that everyone else had as well!”
They were followed by Graham and Marina Goodwin in the 1925 Bentley Super Sports in second place after a tough battle with Lars and Annette Rolner who had to settle for third place, with just 00:12 between them.
In the Classics category, it was the 1972 Datsun 240Z of Belgium’s Rene Declercq and Eric Claeys who claimed the victory, just 00:39 ahead of Gavin and Diana Henderson’s 1965 Porsche 911. Third place went to David and Jo Roberts in the 1968 Triumph TR250.
Declercq said: “Along with winning, the best thing about being on the rally was meeting old friends and making new ones. We will come back next time to defend the victory — in an even faster car.”
A special ‘Spirit of the Rally’ award was presented to the well liked and well-travelled crew of Charles and Nellie Bishop with their Vauxhall 30/98.
The next event on the Endurance Rally Association calendar is another brand new rally, the Blue Train Challenge. Held from 18-22 September 2017, the Blue Train aims to recapture the nostalgic age of travel with a five-day journey of discovery. The event starts from Deauville and finishes in Cannes, with entries still available. Visit EnduroRally.com for more information.
Winner: Ludovic Bois / Julia Colman, 1969 Volvo Amazon
Second: Claudine Bloom / Andrew Twort, 1965 Volvo Amazon 122
Third: Tim / Matt Wheatley, 1966 Volvo 122S
Classics – 1962 to 1969 type cars over 2200cc and all Porsche 911 under 2000cc
Winner: Jayne / Paul Wignall, 1965 Sunbeam Tiger
Second: Philip Prettejohn / Christopher Strakosch, 1968 MG C GT
Third: Hans Geist / Herbert Pinzolits, 1969 Mercedes-Benz 280 SE
Classics – 1970 to 1975 type cars
Winner: Steve / Julie Robertson, 1974 MGB GT V8
Second: Rachel Vestey / Owen Turner, 1972 Austin Mini
Third: Graham Briggs / Julian Pitts, 1978 Mercedes-Benz 280S
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There’s a picture in your report on the Baltic Classic 2017, day 5, purporting to be a 1934 Lagonda M45. It is not. The car on the picture is most probably a Vauxhall 30-98.
Please have my best regards and thanks for an interesting quality online publication.
The same car is shown on another picture later on in the gallery. It is most definitely a Vauxhall, not a Lagonda.