William Medcalf has won the ERA’s Flying Scotsman Rally for the second year running in a Bentley Super Sports, this time with navigator Tony Brooks by his side.
“We weren’t out to win it at all,” explains William. “In fact, ten days ago the car was still being built and I hadn’t got a navigator! We used this event as a way to shake the car down before it goes to a client as its one of, if not the toughest short pre-war rally in the World.”
The Flying Scotsman started at Oulton Hall, Leeds, on Friday morning – the furthest north the rally has ever started. By the end of day one, the teams were on the outskirts of Newcastle, before heading to Edinburgh on day two, and finally finishing at Gleneagles on day three, covering around 750 miles in total.
The car performed beautifully as the team took on Regularity and Jogularity tests through the stunning Yorkshire Moors, Scottish Borders, and around Perthshire as they headed for the finish line. There were also disciplines on circuits such as Croft and Knockhill, with all the tests challenging both driver and navigator.
The rest of the field was pushing hard to catch William, with Bill Cleyndert and Dan Harrison in the Ford Model A constantly chasing as the rest of the field battled it out for positions in the top five.
However its not all about the competition, as Clerk of the Course Kim Bannister revealed at the prize giving dinner, that he had found the two leading cars on the side of the road on the final morning. William and Bill were underneath Bill’s Model A fixing a broken rear axle. Repeatedly Bill said: “Leave me William, you go on,” as William was jeopardising his whole rally, to which William replied: “No Bill. I want to beat you on the road, not by the side of it. Now grab a hammer.”
“What makes this such a great event is that while it is competitive, attracting more fantastic teams from all over the world each year, there is also a great atmosphere amongst the competitors,” explained William. “We’re all encouraging each other to do better…while wanting to win ourselves which is a great representation of the spirit of this event.”
There were four other Bentley crews taking part in the three-day rally that William and the team had prepared for the event, all crossing the finish line.
William added: “Thanks to Tony for all is hard work in the passenger seat as this rally puts a lot of pressure on the navigators, to the team at base who helped get the car ready, and to the organisers at the Endurance Rally Association who once again delivered a superb event.”