Not long to go now - 11 days.... Starting to get a bit nervous/excitied!
Car is undergoing final checks/tweeks getting ready for the start at Brooklands on the 1st January.
You will be able to see us at Brooklands from 10am with the cars then traveling to the Houses of Parliment for the cerminonial start at 7pm.
From there we travel South East into Kent where we start the Kent Cup which will consist of a night road rally on the North Downs.
We do not know very much (and quite rightly so) about the route through Kent as it competitve, but rest assured the ground will be muddy & slippy so we'll not be looking to break the Escort on this section. We have another 14000km to go!
This may be the last update to the website before we go so we'd like to take the oppertunity to say thanks to all that have helped us out on the build up to this Adventure.
We simply do not have enough space here to put down everyones names but please see the Supporters page.
Without the band of friends and suppliers we have gained over the years this would not have been possible and for that we salute you good sirs.
We are now on Twitter https://twitter.com/#!/dawsonmsport !!!! Currently we have no idea how to use it.... but made a couple of tweets and we'll try to update daily whilst in the back of beyond.
The actual rally will have it's own news pages which will update more regularly than ours http://www.facebook.com/pages/The-London-to-Cape-Town-World-Cup-Rally/139610509483429
Recently we had visited my kids school where they have donated books for a school in Zambia which we will be visitng en route. To say thanks we had them all sign a piece of orange vynil which has been attached to the roof of the car. It was an interesting job trying to get 125 kids (from age 4 to 11) to sign with perminant markers!
I also had the Dawes Hernhill Herons U9 football team sign a section of there own to say thanks for all of thier support and generally to say thanks for all the good times we have had together over the last couple of seasons. A truly super bunch of kids it has been a pleasure to train with them, sharing wins/draws/losses but always looking to the future. Thank you Chaps - see you in Febuary.
Finally - The rally is supporting a couple of additional charities - Please donate if you can.
Sorry for the delay in updates, but we have been very busy getting the Escort ready for our trip to Cape Town.
Preparations have been going well, 85% of the LtoCT kit is in the car now and only small jobs left to go.
We have made some new & interesting friends & supporters:
Mk2 Mania - The EPS rack is in and absolutely excellent. We got great support from these lads, can't recommend them enough.
BGH Geartech - Have supplied a new gearbox using all of their heavy duty kit, the noise of the straight cut 'box would have got to us after a few days and speaking to these guys in thier workshop we had the new 'box tailored to our needs. If you want a box built - these are the chaps to speak too. http://www.bghgeartech.co.uk/
H&H Ignitons - After a few phone calls to try and get an additional black box for the distributor we found these chaps - http://www.h-h-ignitionsolutions.co.uk/ within 10mins we had exactly what we needed for a spare. Very knowledgeable gents.
Pete Maylum - Maylum RS - We took the car up to Pete to check the geometry on the Escort as he is one of top chaps in the country building Escorts & other specials. Some will have seen a couple of his RWD Micra's out on the stages.
The Escort was bang on, which was a result and we also had a good chat about other vairous aspects of the car and what bits break! We had a short list after the trip to his workshop, but nothing to major.
The engine has been out for a freshen up by Phil and his crew at Connaught Competition Engines following a season of use and abuse. All was well though. It was run up on the dyno at CCE making 122bhp at the flywheel. http://www.connaughtengines.co.uk/
We had Andy at BD Engineering - Newington - run it up on his rolling road where the final jeeting was done, following a few miles on the fresh engine. It feels nice and strong, and with the new 'box pulls nicely all the way through the gears.
It's been a quiet year for doing events, but found time to play here and there!
Lee Bez asked me to partner him at the MMKMC Autosolo in Sittingboure Football Clubs car park which was great fun for very little outlay. We competed in his MX5 which always surprises me as to how good it is to drive. Sideways everywhere. We were the only ones to get a round of applause from the Marshalls during the event! We both went well and i came away with a pot for 3rd in class, being beaten by a couple of lads in a Porsche Boxster. Not bad seeing as our tyres were freebies!!!
We also took a trip up to Sufolk last weekend for one of CMC's brilliant Gymkhanas. I double drove with the legendary Ian Mepham in his BMW 3-series, and Emma (my wife) had a blast with his other half Samm. Our day ended early with clutch failure in the BMW (we had enough time to have a grin though!!!) and the ladies had a great day - and good results. A lot of fun!
Next event will be the Endurance Road Rally Association open day at Gaydon on the 30th July, where we are going to bring the Escort up for people to have a look at. Promises to be a good day out with an Autotest & plenty of old friends there. More information here http://www.endurance-rallying.co.uk/
The Escort is having some well earned modifications made to it currently.
An Electric Power Steering column is being installed along with some suspension changes more suited to the London to Cape Town. Again Gartrac have proved to be very helpful indeed along with MK2 Mainia who have provided us with the EPS Column. http://mk2mania.website.orange.co.uk/
Also more photos have been added up of the Middlewick Stages courtesy of Digital Motorsport.
Recent weeks have been busy to say the least!
This weekend we are bringing the Escort along to the Faversham Classic Car Show.
We will be collecting for UNICEF, as usual, and so far have raised about £300 for this wonderful charity.
Us & the car will be located opposite the HSBC bank in the town centre. Please come and say hello if you see us.
This week we appeared in the Kentish Gazette -
There was more written in the paper itself, so go out and grab a copy!
Preperations for the London to Cape Town are really starting to crack on now, we have had our first sponsor come forward, a local Building Services Engineers, www.halsion.com/ We really appreciate thier support.
We had a great day at the Middlewick Stages at Woodbridge, Seeded 38th we finished 25th o/a & 7th in class. It was a very strong field of entries, with the 1600cc class having some very quick competitors, we felt the result was pleasing, as the car is built for a different purpose, not exactly lightweight as would suit a ultra competitive tarmac rally car.
Paul Hands & Dave Town, who came up with us in Paul & Micks 2lt Mk1 had an even better day finishing 9th Overall.
Unfortunatly Rob Navin & Ian Varney, rolled their 1360cc Micra on the first stage, and later had to retire. Unlucky lads...
We'll add some photos from the rally when they become availble.
Last weekend, A mate of mine Lee Bezuidenhout & I (Ben) competed on another excelent Chelmsford MC Gymkahana at Carver Barracks in Essex. We both shared his bog standard MX5 for the day, and had a whale of a time. Mostly using the side windows to drive as we used some very budget tyres which made the rear end very lively (but great fun!!!!).
We finished 26th & 32nd O/A, which was not great result, the best we could do with a standard car and shocking tyres.
Most of all we had a laugh, which is what these events are all about.
Update - 24.03.11
The Gymkahana went ok, had lots of fun, but the dry conditions on the 1940 USAF Airfield took there toll on the tyres. By lunch, they were lunch!
The wife "navigated" me round in her road going Rover 25 with the odd hiccup here and there, which demoted me to a lowly 25th o/a,with the old man 24th.
As said, lots of fun, but not a great result - thats motorsport!
We are on the look out for potential Supporters/Sponsors for the now decided crack at the
World Cup - London to Cape Town Rally.
The entry is now in, and we can't wait.
We have sponsorship packs available, and no matter how small the donation towards the costs of the event you give, your name/company logo, will be affixed to the car as soon as possible, where it can be seen at the various events we will be taking part in over the coming months.
Please contact us for our sponsorship pack at
Also, we will be raising money for UNICEF, as we did last year on the lead up to the event. It is a charity very close to our hearts being that we are both fathers.
Please take a look at their website for the great things they do for children, like ours, around the world.
08.05.11 - Middlewick Stage Rally -
20.03.11 - Motex Woodbridge Gymkhana - Competiting
19.02.11 - Britvic Endurance Road Rally - Marshalling
It don't half look like an adventure!
But still to be decided...