Tour Britannia 2006 - Review
The second running of the Tour Britannia may have lacked the GT40s of 2005, but once again the competitors voted the event a resounding success, with many confirming they'll be back in 2007. The Tour ran from the 5th to 8th September 2006 and took in special stages as well as races at Donington Park, Oulton Park, Mallory Park and Cadwell.
Competitors ran in two categories, Touring and Competition with prizes for each, as well as for overall honours and pre-1965 cars. Just seconds separated crews as they headed into the closing two competitive sections on the final day.
In the Competition category, Bruce Stapleton and Alistair Cowin (Morgan +8) led each leg and maintained their advantage to the finish line, winning by just 13.4 seconds after four days of intense competition. Seasoned competitor John Ruston, navigated by Jeremy Haylock and driving a Porsche 356 Carrera, claimed their second consecutive victory in Touring-Regularity,the crew also winning the inaugural 2005 Tour Britannia. They claimed a one minute 30 second lead over Mark Berger/Robert Newton, while the Belgian AC Ace Bristol crew of Marc Vandendijk and An de Reymaeker finished third. Rookies Colin and Amelia Goodwin finished a fine fourth in a Porsche 911.
Overall (based on Index of Performance), the Austin Healey 3000 Sebring of Eric Wooley and David Smithies reigned supreme, but claimed the trophy by just one second. Even so, they had to fight intensely for the win, as Bobby Bell and Oliver Harris (Austin Healey 100/4) were hot on their heels, just one second adrift in second overall. Third position went to the Meiers in the Ferrari Daytona Competition.
The closing miles of Tour Britannia opened with a reverse run at Arbury Hall before the final set of regularity tests and races at Mallory Park. In Competition, the Austin Healey crew of Eric Wooley and David Smithies won their race, while John Grant - in the Chevron B16 - won the second grid. However, the Morgan +8 crew of Stapleton and Cowin set the pace during the week and took victory over John Sheldon and Lesley Stevens by a slim 13.4 seconds. The Lotus Elan duo, however, won the prized trophy for pre-1965 cars. Third position in Competition went to Wooley and Smithies, while the top six was rounded off by the husband and wife teams of Nick and Mary Faure, and Arnold and Melanie Meier, and Roy Stephenson/Peter Robinson in fourth, fifth and sixth respectively.
Commenting on the success of the 2006 Tour Britannia, Sporting Director Fred Gallagher said: “Both Alec (Poole) and I are delighted with the competitors’ reactions and it was great to see a fight to the finish, particularly for the Tour Britannia Trophy. We’ve made a great improvement on an already strong route and the social side was once again a very great feature of the event. It also helped that the sun shone virtually throughout!”
The event will run again in September 2007, for further details please visit the event website www.TourBritannia.com , or contact:
Tour Britannia Ltd
29 / 30 Horse Fair
Story: Classic Driver
Photos: Tour Britannia
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