S&SCC Bustard Targa
Salisbury & Shaftesbury Car Club’s Bustard Targa Rally ran successfully on 18 November 2023. This was a dual permit event with the Interclub competition being rounds of the 2023 BTRDA® Gold Star Targa Road Rally Championship Supported By Shepherd Compello Motorsport Insurance, the ASWMC DL Motorsport Parts Ltd Targa Road Rally Championship, and the Cotswold Motor Sport Group Targa Rally Championship.
As in previous years, Worthy Farm proved its usual draw and the event was oversubscribed very soon after entries opened. The club had increased the maximum number of competitors to 60 this year and was gratified in the face of recent lower Targa rally entries to have a full entry. Unfortunately, withdrawals resulted in 58 starters.
As for the event itself, an official bulletin to competitors summed it up nicely: “It is extremely muddy and slippery out there, be very careful on your first run, if you go off into a field, you will not get out without help.” Yes, after a few weeks of daily rain, muddy conditions persisted, although luckily there was no rain on the day. Most competitors heeded the warnings and there were only a few who terminally left the tracks. That was a relief to the club as, with the tests being run at thirty second intervals between cars, there was little scope for delay, although damage to fields and fencing showed that many crews had close calls. But there were a few retirements in the top seeds with six out of the of top 20 going missing, mostly for mechanical reasons (but one hedge terminally visited – you know who you are!)
The event finished just before dusk and crews moved to the nearby Highwayman Inn for results, a meal and results. Overall most people seemed to have enjoyed themselves and the event was well received. However, powerful cars with limited slip disc, combined with the very wet conditions, did cause track damage to be more extensive that in past years..
The overall Interclub winners were John Davies and Ethan Davies in a Ford Puma, with Interclub class winners being: Andrew and Grace Lees (Nova); Oliver Keates and Gavin Bull (Peugeot 205); Owen Turner and Matt Abrey (MG ZR); Paul Gillard and Will Light (Fiesta); and Colin Evans and Harri Evans (BMW).
The overall Clubmans winners were Scott Mayes and Dyfan Davies (Puma), with class winners Nick and Stacy Humber (Peugeot 106); and Richard Knott and Fred Adams (Fiesta).
Yet again, the club proved that the single venue, 30 second format can result in a successful Targa Rally, but only because of the large number of expert marshals who came to help – almost 150 of them! They made the fast changes of test configurations possible.
S&SCC thanks Devizes Motor Club for its assistance, competitors, landowners, marshals, stewards and medic. And congratulates all award winners.
Photo courtesy of Andrew Manston, MandH Photography.
Caption: Bustard Targa Interclub winners John Davies and Ethan Davies .