Reproduced from the Express and Star of 5th March 1960 -
TOP DRIVERS IN 'E & S' RALLY
"Express and Star" motoring correspondant.
ONE HUNDRED AND TWENTY-SIX cars, many of them manned by top rally drivers in Britain and their crews, will be setting off from five different points tonight on the 300-mile "Express and Star" national rally.
Until they report to their starting points at Wolverhampton, Nottingham, Oxford, Hereford and Liverpool they will not know where they are going and I am not going to tell them now.
This much can be said they will all cover an equidistant main road mileage before reporting to the mysterious destination known as "Control X". From then onward the hard part of the rally will start.
From "Control X", which the first car will leave at one minute after midnight and the rest at minute intervals, there will be 200 miles of what can only be called really tough motoring to a strict time schedule.
30 CONTROL POINTS
Competitors will lose marks at the rate of 10 a minute for lateness at upwards of 30 control points around the course.
Architect of the course and experienced rallv driver, Harry Morgan of Hatherton, near Cannock, says "There should be no clean sheets on the road section. That is the way we have plotted it and we hope we are right'.
This, is the third year of the Express and Star rally, organised by Wolverhampton and South Staffs Car Club.
For the first two years, while the organisers were gaining experience it was an equally tough event but of lesser standing in the rally world.
This year, as the result of that experience, and of good reports (on the previous event, the rally has been given "National British" rating by the R.A.C. and has been recognised bv the British Trials and Rally Drivers Association as a qualifying event for its annual rally "star" competition.
Fifty one of the competitors will start tonight from the premises of the Staffordshire Motor Tyre Co-Chapel Ash, Wolverhampton, where the starter will be racing driver Innes Ireland. For several years Ireland has been running a private racing stable with Lotus cars. Now he is in his first year as a professional and has just returned from the South American series in which he drove the very promising rear engined Formula 1 Lotus.
44 FROM OXFORD
A further 15 cars start from Liverpool, six from Hereford, 44 from Oxford and seven from Nottingham.
One of the Wolverhampton starters is B.B.C. motor sport commentator Robin Richards (Riley 1.5), who recently won the London Car Club’s "Cats Eyes" rally.
The first car to leave Wolverhampton, a Simca saloon, will be driven by the winner of last year's event, Bill Bengry, from Hereford.
He will be followed by the 1958 winner, Tony Fisher (Austin Seven) from Birmingham.
Two Staffordshire star drivers are also starting from Wolverhampton: Toni Gold (Austin-Healev) from Stoke-on-Trent, and Brian Harper (Morgan) from Heath Hayes. The first all-woman crew will be the all-Midland one of Mrs. Mayman and expert navigator Val Domleo (Morgan).
Another all-woman crew will be Mrs. Val Harper, accompanied by Mrs Gold, in a Triumph Herald. John Sprinzel, expert tuner and recently appointed competition manager for Healey Cars Ltd., is starting from Liverpool in an Austin Healey Sprite.
The smallest car in the rally will be the tiny Meschschmitt which Kenneth Piper is bringing up from Southampton to the Oxford start.
The outright winner in this rally gets the silver rose bowl which is the Express and Star trophy together with £25 and his navigator receives £15.
The driver of the second-placed car receives £15 and his navigator £10, and the third-placed team win £10 and £5 respectively.
In addition, there are four class awards, team awards. a driving test award, prizes for the best and second best all-women crews, besides the S.W. Fletcher memorial trophy for the highest placed member of the organising club. His navigator wins the Ron Moore memorial trophy.
In addition, there are seven cups for the best performances by individual makes of car given by the following members of Wolverhampton's motor trade: B. Billingham Ltd. (Ford), Wolverhampton Motor Services Ltd. (Rootes), West Central Garage Ltd. (Standard Triumph), Charles Attwood.Ltd. (Jaguar), Bradburn and Wedge (Nuffield), Charles Clark and Son Ltd. (Austin) and Nash Motors (Wolverhampton)Ltd. (best continental car).