Originators of UK closed road motorsport

2300 Club helps make 2022 Legend Fires North West Stages a success

WHEN Chris Ingram crossed the finishing line to win the 2022 Legend Fires North West Stages, it was a proud moment for the 2300 Club.
Back in 2013, the Manchester man had impressed club members during the interview process for the John Easson Award, which was then – and still is today – the top scholarship for young drivers in UK rallying.
Nine years on, Chris is a front runner in this year’s WRC2 category driving a TokSport Skoda Fabia, the same car he used to win his ‘home’ event for the first time.
“It was a very impressive drive from Chris, against some stiff opposition. We have watched his progress in the years since he won our award, and it gives us immense pleasure to see his success, and know that we have played a part in that,” said club chairman Neil Molyneux.
For Ingram, it was a day to remember.
He said: “What an unforgettable day, the stages and the roads were truly world class, and there were thousands of fans who had turned out to cheer the drivers on.
“It was my first event with new co-driver Craig Drew and our new partnership got off to a great start. Bring on the rest of the World Rally Championship!”
2017 John Easson Award winner Tommi Meadows was also competing in a Fiesta R2 with Liam Johnson on the maps. They finished 40th overall, while 2300 Club member Nigel Worswick brought his Fiesta S2000 Turbo in home in an excellent 18th place.
The club were also heavily involved in the organisation and the on-day running of the event, the organisers recognising the wealth of experience and knowledge club members have in running closed road rallies.
For club members who had volunteered to marshal on their sponsored Hawthornthwaite stage, it meant a 5am start – but at least the weather was dry and sunny. Not everyone was marshalling a stage though, with Stuart Pye and Pete Kenyon opting to man a control at Myerscough College.
The 0,00 and 000 cars, which run ahead of the main field, were all manned by 2300 Club members, with John Easson Award manager John Cope driving the Fiesta R5 ‘0’ car, while former Tour of Mull clerk-of-the course Clive Molyneux was in the 00 car.
In the 000 car were Ron Cowan, Graham Ryding, Tony Driver and Cliff Simmmons. They had a full-on day running ahead of the first car ensuring the marshals were in place, the stage diagrams and the timings were correct.
“On our first pass of the stages it was great to meet the army of people who had teamed up to put the event on,” said Graham.
“But it was a very busy day for us. After the first loop we ran out of time for service, so it was a quick stop and back out again in five minutes. In the first two legs there were several big accidents which caused delays to the rally schedule. Sadly, the second run of the short Lewth stage was cancelled.
“It was agreed the third leg would start at Beacon Fell, but with rescue vehicles still in stage, a slight delay forced us to work fast to get the rally underway safely.
“All in all, it was a great event. All the spectators behaved themselves and were able to enjoy the rally safely.
Fingers crossed, we’ll be able to do it all over again next year.”

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