Hippo Motor Group has taken part in several rallies this year, such as the Cambrian Rally and Tyneside Rally, where our team has performed exceedingly well. So last weekend we decided to attend and take part in the Grizedale Forest Rally. In the last rally we took part in, we placed 28th out of 180 entrants overall, and we were hoping for a just as good, if not better result this time.
The Grizedale Rally is based in Grizedale Forest in Cumbria, with 41 stage miles in total, all of which were brand new this year. The clerk of the course, Graham Parker, said “We’re oversubscribed, and that’s not been the case for a few years. We’ve managed to keep it going, and this year has justified that decision. We’ll run with the maximum 75 cars, that’s pretty much guaranteed.”
This was the 27th time the Grizedale Rally has been run, and with 75 competing crews, and thousands of spectators and marshals, it’s easy to see how much the rally has grown in popularity.
We were seeded 7th out of 75 starters, and there was some incredibly strong competition, but we were still hoping to make a good finish time. We started early Saturday morning, taking a brand new route from Dunnerdale to Grizedale, with two stages (9.5 and 8.5 miles in length) taking part in Grizedale West, covering 41 miles in total on our way to the finish line.
We had a great run, and managed to get to 5th place overall by the end of Stage 5. We then started Stage 6 (the last stage of the rally) quite strongly, but after half a mile, the clutch started to slip. Not wanting to damage the car any further, we did the sensible thing and decided to pull over. We were a little disappointed, but it was the right thing to do.
Victory went to Ollie Mellors and Michael Wilkinson, but we’re still incredibly proud of how we performed, and would like to say a huge thank you to our co driver Jack Morton.
On the plus side, we spotted motorsport celebrity Guy Martin, riding his mountain bike with a couple of friends, who then came over to say hello to us.
As always, we’re excited for the next rally to compete in, and will keep you posted. In the meantime, check out some great videos of us competing in the Grizedale Rally below!