John Clegg Mini Miglia Tour
12/13 March 2016
The weather fared well on Saturday 12th March for the fourth running of Knowldale's Mini Miglia Tour, an evocation of one of the North's premier road rallies, renamed this year in honour of John Clegg who passed away last year. John was a well respected and successful competitor for many years on international and national rallies and previous Clerk Of Course for the Mini Miglia Road Rally.
Taking it's name from the Italian Mille Miglia road race, the Mini Miglia first ran as a Road Rally in 1957 and had a remarkable number of achievements, some of which are noteworthy for the classic car enthusiast. On the 1959 event, Stuart Turner (Competitions Manager of BMC) navigated for Pat Moss (sister to Stirling) and gave the Austin/Morris Mini it's very first competition victory. Knowldale introduced the concept of standard car rallying, with Harry Ratcliffe's (British Vita Racing) rolling road being used to scrutinise power output at the start, and on the 1971 Mini Miglia the Escort Mexico gained it's first competition victory in the hands of Roger Clarke and Jim Porter.
Leading cars away from the start of this year's Tour at NWA Auctions, Crooklands were Peter and Kath Clegg followed by John and Sarah Ettridge – all members of the Clegg family. The aforementioned Jim Porter returned as a driver with his wife Jo in a Morgan Plus 4. A mixture of modern and classic cars included Sunbeams Alpine and Stiletto, a Talbot Sunbeam, Ford Anglia, TR6, MGB, Mk1 Fiesta Ghia, Vauxhalls Nova and Tigra, Renault Clio Cup, BMW 3.0CSL, Mercedes SLK, a Lotus Elise, and four Mazda MX5s.
The road book offered a choice of navigation by tulip diagrams or by plotting the route onto OS maps from a set of complex instructions. Code boards were placed in secret locations along the roads to check for compliance with the correct route.
A run over Barbondale and through Dentdale was followed by a climb past Dent Station over to Garsdale Head. Unlike in previous years, the remnants of recent snowfall was confined to off-road drifts and the roads were clear and dry. The respite of a section of A class road towards Hawes was halted abruptly by a passage of Buttertubs and Arkengarthdale, leading on to Tan Hill before arriving at the Fat Lamb in Ravenstonedale for lunch.
In the afternoon the delights of the fords at Smardale and Leases (both passable despite the recent weather) awaited crews as the route headed towards Eden District and another ford in Morland. Cars then turned south towards Orton and Tebay via that interesting section of road between the carriageways of the M6. After a late re-route due to a land-slipped road, the extremely narrow humpty back bridge at Beckfoot leading up to Howgill was the final challenge, especially for the wider modern cars, before a run via Killington to the finish back at NWA Auction centre where crews enjoyed a well earned meal.
|John Clegg Mini Miglia Tour Entry List|
|3||Jim||Porter||Jo||Porter||Morgan Plus 4|
|17||Stephen||Mather||Jack||Mather||Renault Clio Cup|
|18||Austin||Bell||Joshua||Bell||Ford Fiesta Ghia|
|19||Graham||Darcy||Geoffrey||Powell||Audi A3 1.8t Quattro|
|23||Eric||Thornley||Martin||Beamish||VW Lupo GTI|
|24||Diane||Brereton||Ian||Mills||Suzuki Ignis sport|
|26||Ian||Perrott||Rob||Scott||Lotus Elise SI|
|28||Lee||Ormerod||Dane||Stewart||Proton Satria GTI|