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Vanfridge sponsor car in LeJog

OTR2Geoff McGladdery of Bishops Frome and Mark Foster of Pencombe were thrilled to finally reach John O’Groats, the finishing point for the 16th and toughest ever “LeJog” – The Lands End to John O’Groats Classic car Rally.



The event, acknowledged by most to be the toughest Classic Car Rally in the European calendar presented an even bigger challenge than normal,passing through a frozen mid Wales and then into a gridlocked Central and Eastern Scotland - experiencing its worst winter weather for 45 years.

Left: at Dunnet Head - Britain's most northerly point.

OTREven the start in South West Cornwall saw snow on the ground – the first December snow in the region for 25 years.
Only 28 of the 35 starters crossed the finish line, underlining the severity of the challenge. “For all these are old cars, they are well prepared with experienced crews – this attrition rate shows how tough it was” said a delighted co-driver Mark, who was competing on his first ever classic car rally. The Herefordshire crew and their ‘Top Garage’ prepared 1968 Volvo Amazon 122S faced more serious problems than the weather on the rally’s opening day. A rear brake adjuster shattered, resulting in the instant loss of both the handbrake and the hydraulic brakes on a special test. “Losing your brakes on a downhill is not good news”, said Mark, “Geoff had to put the car a grassy bank to scrub off the speed, but it was all over before we had time to get too worried”
Despite the best efforts of the Rally’s own service crew, the AA and the Fourwinds Garage in Mitchell, the brakes could not be properly repaired and car 26 had to limp back to Bishops Frome, where the special service tools were available and a replacement part (from a Mini!) could be borrowed from a very helpful Mike Cockayne.
Brakes safely repaired, Geoff and Mark re-joined the rally at the overnight halt in Gosforth and continued on through 25 hours of arctic conditions to the finish.
“The weather made the event very tough, with snow covered roads throughout Scotland” commented Geoff, “Apart from the brake problem, the car was fantastic. We carried snow chains, but never had to use them, the traction from the winter tyres being enough to keep us going” For more information on ‘LeJog’ contact HERO on their website