Round Britain Reliability Run - 3 to 5 October
Story and photos - Jim Paterson
Lineup at StirlingSome
106 starters departed
The Plough at Enfield at 1830 on Friday 3rd October for the 24th
running of the Round Britain Reliability Run, possibly one of the
longest endurance events across the UK organised by a Motorsport Club.
crews headed north on the A1 towards the first control at Blyth
services, near Doncaster. Leaving Enfield at 6.30pm on a Friday was
perhaps in retrospect not a good idea as all the cars headed straight
into heavy rush hour traffic. However nothing daunts Club Triumph
enthusiasts. Organiser Tim Bancroft who was keeping me up to date
with progress by text, ran into trouble at the start when his GT6
suffered oil starvation problems just after leaving Enfield. By time he
reached Blyth I had a text to tell me he had been forced to retire.
plan was to visit the crews at Edinburgh Airport, where they were due
at around 0120 on the Saturday morning. However the weather had turned
nasty, and Ellis Stokes, in the Dale and Matt Barker crew, told me that after crossing the border at
Carter Bar the heavens had opened causing his Triumph 2000 to aquaplane
and slide about quite a bit.Horizontal rain was how he described it,
just on his stint of driving too. Drawing the short straw comes to mind!
weather did improve as the crews headed north to Alness, north of
Inverness on their way to John O'Groats for breakfast at 0750. Good
going to make it in just over 12 hours from London in a 1960's and 70's
It was soon time to head south toward the next control
at Conon Bridge, still on the north side of the Beauly Firth, for lunch
at 12.20. By now I was getting ready to head over to Stirling to meet
them later in the afternoon at 1645.
The run to Stirling
from Edinburgh was under bright sunshine, so I dropped the top on the
MX5 to enjoy the autumn warmth. Got caught short with a couple of
showers, but then that is what open top motoring is all about.
crews were arriving though I heard some more had been forced to retire,
including a couple at John O' Groats. Long way home on a recovery
trailer to London.
Time for a quick service and any running
repairs. fortunately the time control was at Morrison's Garage and
Logan allowed crews the use of the ramp for access to undersides. At
least one Triumph 2000 crew took up the offer as their diff mounting
had come adrift. Not sure if welding was required but they headed off
to the south with the rest off the crews.
met up with Club Triumph Vice Chairman Tim Hunt who told me this
was his 20th time on the RBRR in his Triumph TR4A, this time with
Howard Pryor sharing the driving. We have met a few times on past
International Autoecosse events, so Tim knows the roads in Scotland
I'm told big saloons are best for this event as a
crew of three allows one to sleep in the back as the crew rotates
during the 48 hours event. Tim's TR was running well, and after they
fuelled themselves, on Stirlings best 'Scotch Pies', and the car, they
were off again towards the border at Gretna before reaching their next
control at Tebay.
Form there the route would take them through
Wales before heading through Cornwall to Lands End for breakfast on
Sunday morning. You would think they were almost home but it
is a long way across to London from Lands End, well over 300 miles
according to my Googlemap.
Survivors hopefully received a warm
welcome at The Plough in Enfield having completed 2020 miles this year,
plus any 'unofficial detours. Well done to them all, even though you
need to be a bit bonkers for this one.'
For more information visit Club Triumph www.club.triumph.org.uk
Updated 6 October 2014