Image credit: Max Earey
Vintage Bentley crew Andrew Bailey and Philippa Spiller racked up three awards in the recent Three Castles Welsh Heritage Trial after leading the way in all the various sections.
After three days of competitive motoring with 19 driving tests and 12 regularities, the duo in the 1929 Bentley 4½ Tourer, prepared by William Medcalf Limited, were crowned overall winners.
Andrew was also awarded the Steering Wheel Trophy for best overall performance in the driving tests while Philippa won the Timekeeper’s Trophy for best performance on the regularities.
As the only Bentley in the Heritage section, which was split into two categories – Master and Expert, and Novice and Intermediate crews, the team only picked up 14 penalty points throughout the whole event.
It was the first time the event had had a dedicated section for vintage cars, which was one of the reasons Andrew and Philippa decided to enter, along with the promise of a great route that is not that far from their Irish home.
Philippa explains: “Living in Ireland, we get the boat in to Holyhead often and then just drive through Wales quickly, usually en route to somewhere else, so we thought it would be nice to spend a bit of time in Wales for a change and really see what the countryside is like.
Returning to the Victorian seaside town of Llandudno each evening, the rally route took competitors through the ancient landscapes of Anglesey, Gwynedd, and Clywd in North West Wales, covering 450-500 miles in total.
Andrew added: “It was a challenging event but all the competitive regularity sections were jogularities so it is a great event for those who want some sharp competition but perhaps don’t want to have to read maps or have to calculate average speeds on the go. The tests were challenging too – both for the car and the driver. They were great fun though and ranged from a few car park auto tests to fantastic ‘blasts’ along private avenues, as well as a two mile closed road hill climb on the Great Orme. It is an event that can be as appealing to experienced crews as novice ones.
“The car performed brilliantly and responded really well to everything that was asked of it. In fact it would be great to see more vintage Bentleys in the competition next year so we can look to compete for the team prize.”
William Medcalf said: “This is a great result for Andrew and Philippa but for us as well. They bought the vintage Bentley from our Medcalf Collection showroom and it was taken straight into the workshop to be prepared for the rally. To win first time out in the car is fantastic.
“They have competed in events of all extremes – from the major endurance rallies such as Peking to Paris to the shorter trials such as this. It sounds like a fantastic event for those wanting to hone their skills in the UK, and who knows, maybe we’ll be alongside them on the startline next year.”
Next year’s Three Castles Welsh Heritage Trial will be held from 1st to 4th June 2016 and is open to vintage cars as well as running a rally for classics alongside the Heritage Trial.
For information on the Three Castles Welsh Heritage Trial, visit http://www.three-castles.co.uk/welsh-heritage-trial/