Reviews & Reports‎ > ‎2009 Reviews‎ > ‎

2009 Donor Card Gran Turismo 9th Aug




Along with the other 57 competitors we assembled at the Heritage Motor Museum Gaydon for the start of the 8th running of the Donor GT. Our start number was 18 with a due start time at 10.18 hours. At documentation we were issued with a full Road Book, Paperwork and our Rally Plate personally signed by Paddy Hopkirk at the table. Back at the car we discovered that the route was split into 3 sections each one being just over 30 miles long. The first section was in the form of Jogularity Instructions, this is a method of navigating round the countryside using natural landmarks chosen by the organisers. 

At 10.18 we were flagged away from the start by Paddy Hopkirk a very nice way to start an event on a sunny Sunday morning. The route took in some very interesting and picturesque roads passing through the villages of Northend, Avon Dassett, Farnborough, Claydon, Lower and Upper Boddington, Priors Marston, Marston Doles, Priors Hardwick, Fenny Compton and Kingcote. 

Some 1.5 hours later we arrived back at Gaydon having found all the Code Boards and Secret Check Marshals and not a wrong slot or over shoot so far. We have previously lived in this area for 26 years and thought we knew all the roads on this patch how wrong can one be.

After a short break we assembled with the other competitors to start Leg 2 at 12.18 hours. The route directions for this part of the leg were in the form of the traditional Tulip Diagrams which Hilary really does like working with. Leg 2 passed through Kineton, Butlers Marston, Pillerton Priors, Honington, Upper Tysoe, Oxhill, Sun Rising Hill, and Arlescote and back to Gaydon via the B4100.

At the Gaydon Museum we joined the queue of cars awaiting our 14.18 hours start time for leg 3. For this leg of the event there was a third style of navigation to be used in the form of a section of Ordnance Map 151 50.000 Series marked with the route to be followed. But to add a little more work for the navigator there were a set of six photographs of landmarks and items to be found whilst travelling on the correct route. 

Examples of these were House Name, Telephone Kiosk, Farm Gate Name, Business Sign etc. At these points the organiser’s instructions were to enter the mileage covered from the start in the boxes provided on the Progress Card. A very clever way of ensuring most competitors stayed on the right route. 

The route for Leg 3 passed through Lighthorne, Cornbrook, and Walton, by passing Wellesbourne, Charlecote, Barford, Oakley Wood, Cheserton Green, and Chesterton Wood and to Gaydon. This was probably the hardest section of the route for the navigator having to look down at the map and also look for the photographic clues, but all 6 were found and the mileages entered on the paperwork. 

The last secret checks marshal was nearly missed as they were positioned in a deep farm gate entrance just after a cattle grid but bright eyes spotted them. Arriving back at Gaydon at 15.45 hours we checked our progress sheet against the organisers master and all 16 Code Boards, 6 Secret Check Marshals and the correct mileages had been recorded by us. 

This had in fact given us a totally penalty free run. The only down fall during the day was the optional Auto Solo Test in the Gaydon Car Park although we were given a detailed map of the test cones Hilary got completely lost in the middle and we had to abort the test.

Fellow QMC Members Carol Bowler and Chris Fieldhouse also came home penalty free with another clean sheet. But they also fell foul of the Auto Solo Chris making 2 attempts one driving and one navigating and a failed test both times I think we should all stick to Road books and Maps. 

Another bonus of this event was the possibility of purchasing photographs taken during the event printed and laminated by the time we returned to Gaydon. Our thanks must go to Jonathan and his team at Continental Car Tours for putting on a 1st class event with superb paperwork.

All profits from the event are donated to the Donor Card a very worthy charity. We are both looking forward to our next event with this company which will be the Laon GT in France in September maybe in a classic car watch this space. My own
personal thanks go to Hilary for guiding me round the 100 mile route without a single mistake or cross word that has got to be a record.

Mike Stratton. VW Bora.