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2012 HRCR Cirencester Corinium Run - Apr 15th

 

During a conversation with a number of other like-minded Tour regulars, we were recommended to enter the Corinium Run. The event came with many high praises. On receipt of the Final Instructions, we could see what the others were talking about: the attention to detail that the organisers had given to the paperwork was excellent - even down to Tulip directions to get the cars from the fuel station to the car parks.

After filling up with petrol and having our tank sealed by the event official, we made our way to the Prior Park Prep School car park in Cricklade. Then there was a short walk following the blue arrows to event HQ in the White Hart Hotel - yet another example of the organisers’ attention to detail. After the usual signing-on formalities, there was time to enjoy the very welcome bacon butty. Armed with all the event paperwork, it was now time to return to the car and see what was in our envelope. One very nice touch was the competitors’ personalised neck-danglers that also had the type of car being used printed on them. This could be very useful for us oldies who may forget which car we have come in!

Joking over, it was time for Hilary to mark up the very informative and descriptive coloured road book - possibly the best we have used in our short time of competing on tour events. Another item of interest was Car 11, driven by Howard Dent with the famous Stuart Turner reading the road book; we were certainly in very good company today.

Leaving Cricklade on our due time of 10.48, we were soon out of the town and into the quiet country roads on a beautifully sunny but cold morning. The first section to be traversed was via Purton, Somerford Common, Brinkworth, Dauntsey, Lea and Charlton Park. The estate here is now the home of the Earl and Countess of Suffolk and Berkshire. On the outskirts of Malmesbury came the first break of the tour - at the Malmesbury Garden Centre. To this point we had covered a distance of 26 miles.

The next 3.8 miles took us to the weighbridge at Whitewalls, where we weighed in at 1080 kilos. We believe this is a factor that helps give the final Cirencester Efficiency Number - must make a mental note to ask Martin Saunders how this all works. Once clear of Malmesbury, we were back again to the very quiet roads with more bicycles than cars to be seen. Passing through Sherston, Alderton and on to Badminton, this area brought back many memories to the Dippy crew of hours spent doing the PR work for Tour Britannia here in a previous year. Leaving Little Badminton, we passed along one of the estate fringe roads which brought us to another route check. Using very gentle throttle openings to conserve our fuel, our estimate for Dippy was 29mpg - could we better this?

The route now went via Didmarton, Tresham and past the stunning Somerset Monument. The views along this section of route had been wonderful aided by the clear day - one could see for miles. For quite some way after, the Monument was always in view - almost as if it were looking down on the competing cars. Next came the commons of Hawkesbury and Inglestone, and then Wickwar, with yet more memories of TB PR work, with Hilary even remembering the names of some of the houses we had visited - how sad can one get?

Another 35 miles had now brought us to the fabulous Tortworth Court - a superb Victorian Mansion set in very stunning grounds. The other claim to fame here is a chestnut tree in the hamlet of Tortworth that is reputed to be over 1000 years old. Picnic lunch over, it was now time to tackle Section 3 to LJ Cooper’s Garage. To get here the route passed through Stone, Ham, Berkeley, North Nibley, Wotton-Under-Edge, Kingscote, Crudwell and Hankerton. There was time to take a short break at the garage and look at the very interesting classic Citroen cars that were in the showroom.

Back to business and the last section of the event took the cars via Minety - this name is believed to have been derived from the large amount of wild mint that grew here. Gardening lesson over, we now drove via Brinkworth, Royal Wootton Bassett, Hook and Purton and over the preserved Swindon and Cricklade Steam Railway - sadly no trains to be seen. There was now a short run back to the start filling station to have the seal removed and top up the tank. Had we reached our target? - only time will tell.

The short drive brought us back to The White Hart in Cricklade to join with the other 62 entries and 11 travelling marshals to await the presentation of our certificates. The good news was that Dippy had consumed 8.61 litres of fuel per 100kms, giving an average of 33.01 mpg - far better than we had hoped for. But when other mpgs were announced - of over 70 for a VW Polo and an Audi A4, and the Mini Cooper S of Paul and Helen Rogers recording over 60 mpg, we still have a long way to go! All that now remains is to thank Martin and Simon, Cirencester Car Club and all the marshals who stood out in the cold wind for a just perfect tour. Will we be back for the 10th anniversary in 2013? - Yes please!

 

Our sincere thanks to Peter Fieldhouse for all his help in compiling this report. Also thanks to Martin Saunders, Keith Norman and Stuart Greenstreet for providing the photographs.

 

Hilary and Mike Stratton plus Dippy 
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