March 17th / 18th 1962

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From the Express and Star of 17th March 1962


" Express and Star" motoring correspondent

AT a time when, for one reason or another, the entry list of British national car rallies have been shrinking, both the sponsors and the organisers of tonights "Express and Star" national event count themselves flattered with an entry of 180 cars-five more than last year. Former rally driver, Harry Morgan and currently expert navigator, Richard Binns who are respectively clerk of the course and deputy clerk and on who's shoulders most of the detailed course planning has rested, say they believe the Express and Star is the first national rally this year to show this increase in its entries


Major change in the Express and Star rally this year is that the multiple starting point system has been dispensed with, and all 180 competitors are due to start from the premises of Staffordshire Motor Tyre Co., Ltd., Chapel-ash, from 9.30 p.m. tonight. It will take them an hour and a half to get away.
Because this rally is a qualifying event for the R.A.C.'s rally championship title for the British Trials and Rally Drivers Association's Gold Star and Ladies Silver Garter awards as well as for the "Motoring News" rally championship title, its entry list is star-studded. Look for instance at the first dozen or so names: Brian Harper (No. 1 and last. year's winner). Pat Moss, Bill Bengry (current R.A.C. rallv champion and a former Express and Star winner), Tony Fisher (another previous winner), Peter Astbury. Tom Gold, John Sprinzel, Mike Sutcliffe, David Seigle-Morris, "Doc" J. Spare, Don Grimshaw. John Waddington and John La Trobe.
The task that faces competitors when they leave Wolverhampton and after they have been re-started from Control "X", a roadside point near Church Stoke, Shropshire, is. about 150 miles of concentrated-in-the-dark motoring, and the obligation. if they can manage it, to be on time at 52 subsequent control points before reaching the finish at Llandrindod Wells at around dawn on Sunday.
By 5 a.m. the first finishers should be having their breakfast knowing that for every minute have been late they will have ten marks up to a total of 300 that every control they have been forced to miss to try to arrive within the permitted half-hour, will cost them another 300 marks forfeit.


Many rallies have not been popular with those who live and work in the countryside through which route goes. This year's Express and Star event should not be one of those.
To prevent competitors going into farmyards or other places where they would be a nuisance or unpopular the map they will be given is marked with a number of prohibitions. In addition the organisers have personally visited the major householders and farmers on the route to inform them that a rally will be passing tonight.
Of this Richard Binns says in every case we were given a welcome and a firm goahead and his message to competitors is "Now it is up to you. Let common sense prevail."
The winner will receive Express and Star trophy and replica, together with £40. Second and third prizes are £30 and a trophy and prize money in the general classification goes on from £10 the fourth car to £4 for No. 15 and there are still further awards.