As we are now competing throughout the year, we thought it best to publish an earlier than usual report. Traditionally the end of year report came after the North Humberside Forest stages in March. But as we now “spread our wings” and are competing as far afield as Nottinghamshire, there is now no end to the season as it runs all year round.
The North Humberside Forest Stages in March was the first event of 2008 for us and the first time the new 2 litre red top had been used on forest stages, we had a poor seeding which placed us near the back, but we still managed an eighth in class (inside the top 10 of the largest class) The girls managed to distribute some 250 goody bags and collect £86 for the Great North Air Ambulance Service (GNAA).
As well as promoting the Vanmonster brand at various outlets in and around the vale of Pickering and the towns of Scarborough and Bridlington, the team has been busy promoting itself and therefore its sponsors at other race events. Paul and VF Racing girl Coral attended the Auto 66 Club’s “festival of speed” at Olivers Mount in Scarborough on the 4th May, to promote the team and collect for the GNAA.
The next event for the team was the Dukeries Rally based in and around the forests of Nottingham and Sherwood, the team had an early start as we had to be at scrutineering for 7.30am. The forest roads were a lot tighter than we were used to, but also a damn sight faster, the car went really well, to the point where we started to scrub tyres. Andy very kindly brought VF racing girls Coral and Stacey down who collected for both the GNAA as well as the Nottingham and Lincolnshire Air Ambulance ( £102 Total £239) . We had a good day (very long) and managed a 6th in class, one of the best results we’d had in a while and the new engine was performing well.The Dukeries Rally was also slightly cheaper to enter than the local events, but the saving we made on the entry fee, we wrote off against the extra fuel needed to get the team there. The girls managed to distribute some 150 goody bags at the service area.
Following our success at the Auto 66 clubs festival of Speed event, we were invited to place an advert in the programme for the Gold Cup Races at Olivers Mount on the 20th and 21st of September. We were only given two days notice of this, but thanks to Pete at Transtools we managed it. The team also attended the event to promote its sponsors and to collect for the GNAAS. VF Racing girls Milly and new girl Paige attended the event and managed to collect a staggering £220 (Total £459).
The next event for us should have been the Trackrod Rally Yorkshire, but unfortunately Jon was off shore, but the team still managed to attend the event, and even managed a feature in the local paper. VF Racing girls Paige and Tori also attended the event and managed to distribute over 250 goody bags and collect £198 (Total £657).
Our next local event was the Malton Motorclub Forest Stages, everything was ready, the car, the driver, the mechanics, the co-driver.
The venue on the 2nd of November was Pickering showground, Jon assured me everything was ready, which was a relief as I’d nearly forgotten to order the pace notes. The first stage was round the showground, which had been extended to double its usual length. All went well, we then progressed to stage 2 in Cropton, by now it was raining, but we had the right tyres for the job, Jons confidence in the pace notes was growing already, and we were going well, then on the second to last corner we lost power, wasn’t the fuel pumps, out we got to investigate. To our dismay there was a hole in the bottom of the block. Our race was over.
We were towed out at the end of the stage, and met by the service team, who brought us home. VF Racing girls Paige and Tori arrived to find us packing to go home. They proceeded to hand out the goody bags, some 200, and set a new collection record for a rally £198 (total £855).
As we’d blown the engine on the Malton event we were forced to withdraw from the RAC Rally, although we did still attend the event to promote our sponsors. Milly and Zoe handed out the goody bags and managed to set another record amount of £330 (total £1185).
We’ve learnt possibly the biggest lesson this season, with the engine problem, and the events being so close together. Over the past seasons Jon has managed to build on our critical parts stock. We never imagined we’d need a spare engine, this mistake has now been corrected, we now have two engines.
As regards the Great North Air Ambulance service, without the help of our sponsors we wouldn’t have been able to collect such a massive amount.