March 14th / 15th 1964

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From the Express and Star of 14th March 1964

'Express and Star' national rally


By our motoring correspondent

THE Wolverhampton and South Staffordshire Car Club's "Express and Star" British national car rally, starting from Wolverhampton tonight, has once again attracted the largest entry for an event of this kind.
Starting at 9.30 from the Staffordshire Motor Tyre Co., Chapel-Ash. 158 cars, each with a crew of at least two, will leave at one minute intervals. They start a tough 200-mile drive that should bring the first car to Llandrindod Wells by 3.50 a.m. the next morning.
The first 30 or so miles will be on main roads to "X" control where the rally proper will begin. In the remaining 170 miles competitors will have to find and be on time at 72 time controls.


Until a few minutes before they start competitors will know nothing about the route save that it starts at Wolverhampton and finishes at Llandrindod Wells.
But they can make a fairly safe guess that the route takes them into what is now famous, Welsh border rally country.
All the leading member of the British national rally circus have entered the event. They are led by past winner Tony Fisher from Birmingham with Brian Melia as his navigator in car No. 1.


The Fisher-Melia car is interesting in that it marks the debut in this rally of the new Vauxhall Viva. Fisher has used B.M.C. minis for several years.
Closely following Fisher from the start will be David Seigle-Morris, a member of the Ford works rally team (Cortina), Reg McBride (Anglia) Roy Fidler (Spitfire), Phil Simister (Cortina) and David Friswell (Cooper "S"). Navigating for Friswell is the organising club's top navigation expert Richard Binns.
Other famous names among the early numbers are Bill Bengry (Simca 1000) John La Crobe (VK 1500), Peter Astbury (from Cannock Vitesse) and Monte Carlo rally veteran "Tiny" Lewis from Bristol driving a Hillman Imp.
The crew of the winning car, will get £60, the "Express and Star" trophy, and, for the navigator, the, Raybould Smith trophy.


Other cash prizes run from £40 for the second placed crew down to £4 for the car and crew placed 15th.
Since, freak chances apart, this rally is almost certain to be won by an expert, the organizers are giving £15 and £10, to the first and, second placed non-experts with £13 in other non-expert prizes down to 5th place in the class.
All told cash prizes total nearly £300.
In recognition of her place in the international rally world, the organisers have invited Mrs. Pauline Mayman who, with Miss Valerie Domleo forms the B.M.C.'s all-women rally team, to be the official starter.