DOWN THE PUB

Motor Sport News - - Historics - WITH BOB GIB­BONS

Age: 59 Lives: Black­wood, South Wales BHRC Cat­e­gory 1 cham­pion He’s been com­pet­ing since his youth “I’ve been ral­ly­ing a very long time. I started on night events, as we all did, at the age of 21 and then went into mo­tor­cy­cle tri­als for many years. I did some En­duros and was Welsh cham­pion on the bike. I started ral­ly­ing again when I was about 33 and started do­ing BTRDA events. I went into his­torics in about 1993. I was one of the com­peti­tors with the HRCR do­ing events like the Leukaemia, Targa Rus­ti­cana and Welsh Retro. They were a mix of night sec­tions and spe­cial tests and were long events.”

He moved to stage ral­lies

“I built the Ford Cortina Mk2 for stage events in 1998 and in ’99 we won var­i­ous events. The his­toric cham­pi­onship then was 12 rounds, six night road ral­lies and six stage ral­lies. We won the Grem­lin Rally over­all and beat all the mod­erns. We did the Bri­tish His­toric Cham­pi­onship and fin­ished third over­all be­hind Dessie Nutt.”

The Cortina Mk2 is well known “Next we built a Ford Es­cort Mk1 RS2000 with a Pinto mo­tor. It was done by T2 Mo­tor­sport and Toby Adam has built and run my cars from the start. I de­cided in 2009 that we would shelve the Es­cort and I bought the Cortina back and re­stored it. Cat­e­gory 1 was very strong and was the place to be for fun and com­pe­ti­tion. Ob­vi­ously the chang­ing of the rules over run­ning or­der has messed every­thing up and we’re now about fin­ished with gravel ral­ly­ing for the Cortina.”

There is a car change for 2017 “We’ve got spon­sor­ship from Ma­genta Fi­nan­cial Plan­ning and with­out their sup­port we wouldn’t be ral­ly­ing. So next year we plan to come out in the Mk1 Es­cort. That’s new to us and we had a trial run on a cou­ple of Epynt events. It is a very quick class C5 car and could be com­pet­i­tive in the BHRC next year if the driver is fast enough. The plan is to re­store the Cortina and put it in a cor­ner with a blan­ket over it.”

It’s a fam­ily team “Stu­art Cardell, my reg­u­lar co-driver for many years, re­tired and moved to Italy about four years ago. My son Dale is now co-driv­ing for me and do­ing a bril­liant job. For a father-and-son team to do this to­gether is very spe­cial.”

Gib­bons: A Ford fa­natic

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