In recent years the Clee has employed a unique
system where the route is two circles, forming a figure of eight with the
start in the centre. The entry is split according to class. So 6, 7 and 8
do one loop first while the other classes do the other. It's a bit more
complicated as class 0 have some unique sections and omit some used by 1
to 5, while 6,7 and 8 also have some unique sections. Why am I telling you
this? So you understand that as a competitor in class 4 I didn't see all
Penhale's Puzzler Special Test - I will start by being sarcastic and
say that the first puzzle was finding the damn thing! Fortunately one of
our fellow Beetle drivers knew where it was and the rest of class 4
followed them! When we got there it wasn't so much of a puzzle as a very
nice marshal told us what to do, which was to drive forwards in a circle,
then retrace in reverse. Kevin Barnes didn't make it this far in his
venerable Singer ADU, retiring less than a mile from the start when the
cylinder head failed.
Section 10 Flounders Folly - A very slippery route though the trees
next to the special test. There wasn't really a track there so there was
no bottom and the wet clay was very slippery. Everyone spun to a halt in
the slime. Dudley Sterry got the furthest, stopping just before the
sections ends board. Eventual winner David Foreshew came just behind,
making the two. Both Stephen Kenny and Mark Endley retired their Liege's
here, Stephen with a disintegrating distributor.
Section 13 Easthope 1 - This is in the same complex as the old Ipikins
Rock section, which wasn't used this year. It's a muddy track with some
pretty deep ruts. Quite a few cars in 7 and 8 cleared the section but most
who got through the ruts at the bottom OK spun to a stop as the going got
Section 14 Easthope 3 - Attempted only by the lower classes the section
started with a horrible right hand hairpin which defeated many, most of
the remainder failed to surmount the deviation that lay just ahead. It was
possible though, and the eventual winners of classes one to four all went
clean, although goodness knows how Dave Haizelden managed it in his Golf.
Section 15 Majors Leap - Only attempted by the reds and yellows Dave
Foreshew was the only clear.
Section 16 The Jenny Wind - Well known section which has been used on
The Clee for many years and was trialled before the war. After the sharp
right hander its straight up if you can. Most couldn't and spun to a stop
on the lower reaches, way below Dave Cooks camera! Nigel Jones had to
retire here with driveshaft problems and Nigel Scotford dropped out with
clutch issues in the ex-Courtney Yandle Skoda. Nick Farmer had electrical
problems with the ex-Tony Rothin Cannon Alfa but was able to continue.
Section 17 Harley Bank - This used to be a wonderful long track but the
old route has become too easy after council re-surfacing so there is now a
horrible deviation with a very tight left-hand corner which was impossible
in the sticky clay.
The 2nd loop had a very different character. Much more picturesque,
more rocks and less mud. It started with a trip over The Long Myndd. It
was very clear so there were some wonderful views. Its a long way down,
with unprotected drops. At least when it was used as a selective in
Motoring News Rallies it was dark and they couldn't see what would happen
if you didn't make the corners!
Section 1 - Ratlinghope - Not particularly competitive but a wonderful
long old section. It should have been followed by...
Section 2 - Phil's Folly - Unfortunately the conditions were to bad to
allow this old track to be used this year. Something I have experience off
when marshalling the section a few years ago. Nobody was more disappointed
than John Sergeant who was first going to be marshalling at Round Oak
before it was cancelled, only to arrive at Phil's Folly and find that
couldn't be used.
Section 3 - Gatten's Gamble - Starting in farmer Phil Harding's yard
this is another wonderful long up and over Clee sections with fantastic
views crossing the summit.
Section 4 - Allez 'Oop1 - Classes 6, 7 and 8
all went clear as they climbed this cleft
in the hillside, made infamous by C.A.N. Mays book Wheelspin.
Although it has been resurfaced since, it couldn't be taken lightly, and
claimed some scalps amongst the lower powered cars for
who were using it as a section. At the top the route followed the
southern ridge of The Long Mynd before entering the forestry containing
the Priors Halt sections.
Section 5 - Priors Holt 3 - Another Clee section Mike Hayward and I
have marshalled, and as last year there were multiple restart lines
depending on your class. There was plenty of grip for the later numbers,
to much in some cases as some of the less powerful cars on low pressures
found themselves bogging down. Giles Greenslade went clear for the second
year on his way to winning class four, as did both Sticker and Arnie
Martin in their Escorts.
Long Mynd Special Test - Nice timed rocky climb with a nifty descent
where it was all too possible to overshoot the finish line. Unfortunately
it was probably a bit steep for some of the lower powered cars as several
of them couldn't make the climb.
Section 6 - Priors Holt 2 - Yet another section Mike Hayward and I have
marshalled. Used only for Class 0 this year.
Section 7 - Priors Holt 3 - A steep climb with loose rock, demanding
close attention to tyre pressures and throttle control. This was the last
section for the lower classes as Strefford Wood was cancelled after 6,7
and 8 passed through and Round Oak was taken out before the cars started
although this failed to get into some of the road books.
Dave Foreshew (Ford Dingo)
David Haizelden (VW Golf GTi)
Adrian Dommett (Wolesley Hornet)
Andrew Martin (Ford Escort)
Greenslade (VW Beetle)
Aldrian (Austin 7)
Browning (VW Beetle)
Dudley Sterry (MG J2)
Hill (Singer Junior)
Page added 23 January 2008 updated 27
January 2008 and 129 January 2008