From the Express and Star of 18th March 1963
'E & S' RALLY TOUGH BUT ENJOYABLE
By the "Express and Star" motoring correspondent
"TOUGH but enjoyable" was the verdict on the 1963 "Express a Star" British national car rally staged by Wolverhampton and South Staffordshire Car Club on Saturday - Sunday night and won as one might think right and proper, by the current holder of very car rally championship title in Britain -Tony Fisher of Birmingham.
This is the second time Fisher has won the rally. He won the first Express and Star, rally five ago.
As to fact that competitors enjoyed such toughness, one bad only to listen to them talking to the joint clerks of the course, Harry Margin and Richard Binns, at the finish.
Veteran rally driver Harry Morgan, from Four Crosses, Hatherton, Cannock, said: "I always believed bogey time for this course was 15 minutes late, and was not far wrong."
Winner of the Express and Star trophy and £40 for fist place in the general classification, Tony Fisher (Austin Cooper), accumulated his 14 minutes lateness in single and double minutes at a time.
He was three minutes down over the first seven controls between Long Mynd and Snailbeach. He then went through the rally on time until control 52 and between then and control 64 started a further series of small latenesses.
Fisher said afterwards his time losses were accounted for by the tight time schedule coupled with the truly appalling state of some minor reads after weeks of snow and ice.
The next two drivers in the general classification, David Seigle-Morris and Rom McBride (both driving Ford Anglias), lost l9 and 22 minutes respectively.
Seigle Morris, navigated by David Stone, had been No.1 on the road until nearly the end of the rally, when a broken exhaust system cost him four minutes.
So rough were some of the final stages in, the desolate area between Devils Bridge and Pont ar Elan, at the head of the Elan Valley, that the organisers decided competitors. Could not keep to the required time schedule and ignored any lateness between controls 66 and 68 when computing results.
£ In the last two years this rally has given its name to a now famous Express did Star system of marshalling at controls and results calculation that was the brainchild of Dr. Peter Carlyle, of Stafford-road, Cannock.
Since the 1962 event "Doc" Carlyle has streamlined his system still further with the result that this year within five to ten minutes of finishing each competitor was handed a copy of his performance sheet and the complete results were ready immediately that the time had elapsed in which the last of the runners could have reported in to the final control.
General Claasification 1. A. T.-Fisher and B. Melia (Austin .Cooper), 14; 2. D. Seigle-Morris and D Stone (Anglia), 19; 3. R. McBride and D Barrow (Anglia), 22; 4. D. H. Ray and A. J. Straker (Alardette), 37; 5. C. C. Nesbit and J. Williams (Morris Cooper), 37; 6, R.N.Richards and G. C. Davis (MG B) 40; 7, A. W. Cowan and B. C. Boyles (Rapier). 41; 8. D. W. J. Thorne and I. D. Cameron (Anglia), 43; 9 M. Sutcliffe and T W. Rowlands (Austin Mini), 43; 10, J. Anderton and M. Kempley (Allardette). 43; 11. J. Trobe and J. Chitty (VW). 44; 12. D. Bache and J. McLeod (Morris 1100), 47; 13. H. Jacoby and M. Milchreest (Triumph Spitfire). 54; 14, A. C. Cook and M. Wood (Austin Mini). 1 failed and 39 minutes;.15, I. H. Terry and R. K. Davits (Allardette), 1 failed and 45 minutes. Non-experts: 1. D. Cotton and L. Potts (VW): 2. Dr. N. L. Edmond and A. Parkin (Austin Mini); 3. J. Williams and C. Hooper (Morris Cooper). Class awards: Normal and improved series production touring cars up to 850 c.c., M. Sutcliffe (Austin Mini); 851 to 1300 cc. A. T. Fisher (Austin Cooper): 1,301 to 2,000 c.c. D. Seigle-Morris (.Anglia); over 2,001c.c. P McElhinney (Zodiac). Grand touring cars up to 1,600 c.c. R. McBride (Anglia). Over 1,601 c.c. R. N. Richards (MG B). Team awards: 1. Fisher and Siegle-Morris: 2. I. H. Terry and R. Richards. Club team. Chelmsford M.C. Best all women crew, Pat Spencer and Yvonne Hilton (.Austin Cooper). Best mixed crew. Mr. and Mrs. R. D. Fenwick (Triumph TR4). Best Wolverhampton and South Staffordshire crew South-Staffs member J.R. Gibbon and R. Harper (V W ). Best Ford (Billingham trophy) D. Seigle-Morris. Best Rootes (F. C. Bishop cup). A. C. Cowan. Best Standard Triumph (Norman Dawkins cup), H. Jacoby. Best- Austin (Charles Clark trophy) A, T. Fisher. Best Nuffield (Bradburn and Wedge trophy). C. C Nesbit. Best continental (J. R. Gibbon trophy), J. R. Gibbon. Fastest special test time: B. G. Williams 29.8sec.
Women's team had ill luck
Tough luck story of the rally was that of the Midland women's team of driver Pauline Mayman and navigator Valerie Domleo (M.G. 1100).
Like all other competitors they had driven from the Wolverhampton start to " X " control on the top of the Long Mynd and their rally lasted almost exactly one and a half miles before the terrain damaged an undershield of their car and they could not continue.
This was almost a repetition of what happened to Mrs. Mayman in the same rally two years ago. She drove a mile and a half from "X" control before an electrical short circuit caused an under-the-bonnet fire and that was her rally that was!