November 17, 2012

UK's toughest classic car rally LeJog sets off from Land's End

Considered by many as the toughest event of its kind in Europe, LeJog's severe wintry weather conditions that hit the UK in December will see drivers battling it out on an epic 1,400 mile course between Land's End and John O'Groats from December 1 to 4.

Over 60 cars are to leave
Land's End on a route across Britain that will see them travelling through Cornwall, Devon, Somerset, Wales, Shropshire, Cheshire, Lancashire, North Yorkshire, Northumbria, Northumberland, East Lothian, West Lothian, North Lanarkshire, and across Scotland to John O'Groats over the four day period.

"LeJog is one of the toughest events of its kind in Europe, possibly the world, and we constantly strive to maintain this enviable reputation. We have no idea what the weather will bring but it certainly won't stop the drivers who will do all they can to finish  the course no matter what the conditions are," said HERO's Event Director and Clerk of the Course for LeJog, Peter Nedin.

All sorts of cars, built before 1984, will be taking part including a 1957 MGA coupe driven by Curt Wagner and Horst Pokroppa, a 1965 Mercedes-Benz 230 SL driven by Jochen Gabriel and Onder Turker and a 1974 Datzun 240 Z driven by Riccardo Moraldi and Pietro Turrinelli, amongst others including BMWs, Alfa Romeos, Triumphs and Porsches.

"This will be one of the most testing events that we have ever run. As in past editions the event is attracting crews from all over Europe and beyond which is a testament to the event and all those who work so hard to make it happen," said Patrick Burke, Joint Managing Director of the Historic Endurance Rallying Organisation (HERO).

Deputy Clerk of the Course and Route Co-ordinator, John Kiff, has spent many hours poring over maps and, together with HERO's Scottish co-ordinator, Justin Morris and West Country co-ordinator Geoff Gibson has driven many hundreds of miles to devise a route that takes in numerous roads and tracks never used on LeJog before - or at least have not been used for many years.

At the supper halt in Fort William the crews will plot a route that will take them up the Great Glen to a series of Jogularity navigation sections in the Inverness area before the traditional halt in the early hours at Skiach services where a little more plotting will give them the rest of the Jogularities to the north coast and John O'Groats. 

"We were delighted with the welcome Le Jog receives around the country with the locals being more than willing to allow use of their land and to let controls be sited in appropriate places. For many people, LeJog is the only competitive motor sport event that comes past their door and they are keen to turn out and see the cars go through their area," Patrick Burke added.

This year's LeJog will break new ground with the route using roads and parts of the country that have never been used before on this iconic event, including two new locations for the rest halts - Llangollen and Slaley near Hexham, as well as several new test locations.

The route will also be taking drivers deeper into Wales than any previous LeJog and challenging the crews with night-time regularities and navigation sections on some of the tightest and most twisty roads that the Principality has to offer in territory that is new for LeJog.

"We realised that a few crews were not doing the best bits of the event simply because they hadn't had time to plot them. This year we want all the trialists to have a go at all the sections in Wales, not just the experts," said Peter Nedin, Clerk of the Course.

"The other improvement we are making from last year is to have slightly fewer special tests but not only will they be more flowing and easier to follow but also, where possible, they'll be longer to give drivers even more fun," he added.

The romantic adventure appeal of LeJog will still remain, with controls in some of the UK's best country pubs and road sections through the most beautiful scenery.

HERO will be supporting the Whyte Sisters, Seren (23) and Elise (21), who will be tacking the 1,552 miles to raise funds for the Pink Ribbon Foundation in a 1964 Mini Cooper S provided by HERO Arrive & Drive.  The Sisters will also be the youngest female crew to compete ever and their progress will be filmed and streamed live on the internet.

LeJog is supported by AVIS, exclusive support vehicle partners of HERO Events and Orianda, who sponsor the first prize of the HERO Cup by offering a week sailing in the Mediterranean on board this splendid yacht.

Every competitor dreams of collecting one of the elusive gold medals (2 were earned in 2011), but crossing the finishing line is the main aim of many, particularly novices. The sense of achievement is immense and most crews pass under the finish banner with huge smiles on their faces.


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