Mini Miglia comes to Scotland - 29 April
Story - Jim Paterson Photos Andy Thomlinson
Lineup of cars at Loch LomondJaguar
brought their Heritage car collection to Scotland for the 2015
Miglia works entry crews to learn and practice the necessary
skills on an event put together by your club CCHMSC. The crews,
many of whom were familiar faces, for the eight pre 1957 cars were
taught how to read an Italian style
road book, what the Italian control boards meant,
how to drive the regularities and average speed section, as well
as an insight to
the timing and tripmeter operation.
club was delighted to be asked by Jaguar to provide a
'turnkey' solution that would give their guest crews the
necessary skills to attempt the Mille Miglia in Italy which this year
runs from 14 to 17 May. The club quickly pulled together a team of
members, which included Maurice Millar and John Stuart, both of whom
have experience of timekeeping on recent Mille Miglia rallies, to create
and organise this 'Mini Miglia' event.
With a requirements brief
the team quickly designed a route which would provide an opportunity
for the crews to practice all the elements of the Mille Miglia,
regularities and average speed sections. Italian regularities are
quite different to those used in UK rallies, so the organisers were on
a learning curve too. A roadbook in the Italian style, all in
kilometres, was designed, and checked by our club road book guru Dave
Spence and Roddie Main, and was used by Maurice in the classroom
training prior to letting the crews start the rally. The control boards
on route were also produced to the Italian standard, again
completely different to those used in the UK.
marshalling requirement was immense, with over 40 marshals to cover two
off road test sections, one at the Rest and be Thankful, the other at
Inveraray Castle, and three the average speed sections, through Glen Fruin, Hells Glen, and Glen Douglas.
Member Bob Shearer organised support from club members and
the Jaguar Enthusiasts Club, with club member Ralph Forbes bringing along
a group of his motorcycling friends. Together they made the
control and management a success on the day.
The cars, 2 long nosed D
Types, 2 C Types, 2 XK 120's, an XK140 and a Mk V11 arrived by
covered trailer on the 28th. Ian Callum, Jaguar chief designer, and one
of the crew members, later told me that the collection was valued at
around the £30 million mark. The celebrity crews joined us on the
29th. After the classroom session where Maurice took them
through the basics of regularities and average speed operation we, got
them in their selected cars.
Bob Shearer headed out well ahead
of the start to equip all the marshals with their safety kit, and with
Timekeeper Kyle Gordon to provide the timing clocks. Dave Spence
and Roddie Main set off in the course car just ahead of the first
competitor, to check all was well and the marshals ready. I had
the honour of flagging off the competitors who passed under the CCHMSC
club banner. To make the start more realistic we provided a large clock
display for the driver to see, and I called the last five
seconds 5,4,3,2,1, Go countdown in Italian, before raising the Italian flag.
first test was through Glen Fruin where an average speed section had
the crews working on their speed tables to navigate the section to
reach the end control, the location of which was not given beforehand.
The route continued up the side of Loch Long to Arrochar where the local
roads authority had decided to resurface the A83, complete with traffic
lights and convoy system. Fortunately Dave Spence was a roads engineer
and got to talking with the works foreman, who was also a keen Jaguar
enthusiast, and between them made sure the 'green light' was on when
the Jaguars arrived at the Arrochar junction. Form Arrochar it was a
short sprint to the first regularity on the Rest and be Thankful in
Here was where the first serious work
started. Mille Miglia regularities are much shorter than we know in the
UK, some less than 100 metres. They can also be joined, so that the end
of one is the start of the next. Each section is timed to 1/100th of a
second with a penalty point for every 100th of a second early or late.
A good timer is required to make sure arrival is spot on.
clock starts on the first section when the car front wheel runs over a
pneumatic tube across the road. We emulated the tube with a piece of
orange electrical cable, and a marshal registering their time of
day at the instant the front wheel touched the cable. To help the
driver judge that point we had fitted sight lines to the cars, a simple
device using masking tape on the front wing placed so that when the
driver looked down the tape line and saw the orange cable at the other
end they were touching the cable with the front wheel. The co-driver
then started / stopped the stop watch.
Code boards were placed
25 metres before the control cable, at the control cable and 25 metres
after the control cable, as they are in Italy. Four regularities were
challenged on the drive up the Rest, which would be repeated later in
the day in the reverse direction.
After the Rest and be Thankful regularities came a second
average speed section through Hells Glen, using the same rules as Glen
Fruin. It was at the end of this section that James Martin and Nick
English bottomed out their D Type and loosened the exhaust pipe.
Sounding like a tractor James pulled over to await the chase car,
carrying mechanics, which didn't arrive. Fortunately Tom Niven and Roger Fry, acting
as Closing Car caught them up and with the help of Maxwell Taylor, one of
our marshals, spannered the pipe back on, to get James and Nick
on their way. Just as well as they were heading for a win on the event.
chance to open the throttle round Loch Linnie on the way to Inveraray
castle. With cars lined up in front of Inveraray Castle the crews
grabbed a well earned refreshment break before heading off for another
3 regularity sections. Leaving the castle we took the cars to the
Inveraray petrol station to give crews practice refuelling their cars.
As you can see Charley Boorman found the activity amusing. I hope he
remembered not to put diesel in the Jaguar Mk V11, and add the lead
Line up at Inveraray castleA blast back to the Rest and be Thankful
for the downhill regularities before heading back to Arrochar, down the
side of Loch Long,and into Glen Douglas for a final average speed
section. The end of the section rejoined the A82 for the final sprint
down to Luss and the last control. A free drive for the last 8 miles,
sorry 12.8 kilometres, got the crews back to Cameron house and the
Results were compiled and computed by Maurice Millar,
carrying out much of the input on route at the top of the Rest and be
Thankful, completing the last sections at the final control in Luss.
These would be presented to the crews over dinner, where as you see
Charley Boorman with co-driver Giles English, brother of Nick, looks
suitably glum when hearing that James Martin and Nick English had pipped
them to the winning trophy, which of course had to be the Jaguar cat.
D-type, driven for the first time in anger by James Martin, was awarded
first place in the 'Mini Miglia' regularity trial, followed by the Mk
VII of Charley Boorman. The cars and drivers will next meet on the
start line in Brescia on May 14th, ready to tackle 1,000-miles through
Italy on the 2015 Mille Miglia.
us all this was a day to remember. A complete event designed and
organised in some 3 weeks from the first phone call. It was hard and
sometimes difficult work. Would we do it again? Of course we would.
Where else would you get an opportunity to be up close to so
many prestigious classic cars all in one place on a motor sporting
event? The crews were great people and loved every moment of it too, as
shown by a round of applause to our club organisers and marshals, from all the crews at the
debriefing following the event.
big thanks to the many
marshals that gave up a working day to support this event. without them
we could not have done it. Also our thanks to Diane Davidson Kinghorn,
and Stephen for the use of the Rest and be Thankful, the
Duke of Argyll, the castle staff, and Andrew Montgomery for the use of
Inveraray Castle, and the two Alan's and Leo Hannan for help at Cameron
House Hotel, not forgetting the CCHMSC girls, Karen and Rona who
managed the signing on and chased the celebs out of the castle coffee
shop stop .
If we are ever asked again to put on another Mini
Miglia you will be getting a call from us.
Photos of the day from Andy Thomlinson HERE
Jaguar short video of the event HERE and HERE
Video from motoring journalist Alex Goy who crewed with RAC Director Ben Cussons for XCar magazine HERE
Read what Bremont founders and drivers Nick and Giles English said HERE
Read what the press have to say. HERE
What the Glasgow Herald crew reported in their DRIVE magazine
Charley Boorman - never done it before !
James Martin / Nick English on the Rest and be Thankful
David Gandy reported on his video -" 'Jaguar' created a Mini Miglia, up here in Scotland, which was absolutely incredible to be honest. Practising yesterday was great fun."
Updated 15 May 2015