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Vintage winter show from Elliot
ELLIOT Dale is celebrating after winning the vintage cars category at the 2013 Winter Trial.
The Combe Pyne resident, who restores old cars at South Western Coachworks Ltd in Lyme Regis, competed in the 2,250km-rally alongside Richard Porter from Worcester, and together they finished 17th overall in their 1935 Bentley Derby – an incredible achievement considering the quality of the field which included some of the top drivers and navigators in Europe.
Former winners include two-time Le Mans champion Gijs van Lennep, which is a huge indication of just how strong the competition is.
Dale, who was part of the Corinthians crew from Lyme that rowed across the Atlantic back in 2011-12, said: “The rally started in Enschede in North East Holland and then went down across Germany and into the Czech Republic before fringing Poland and finishing in Austria.
“We were in a 1930s Bentley competing against modern stuff up to Porsche 911s.
“They do a Trial Class route which consists of six day legs and two night sections and a less challenging Club Class route.
“We were in the Trial Class and ended up finishing 17th overall out of 50 cars.
“To finish in the top half was a great achievement and we won the vintage cars category as well by over four hours, so all in all it was a very enjoyable experience.”
As well as facing tough competition, Dale and Porter also had to negotiate some extreme weather conditions.
Dale added: “There were huge amounts of snow and ice throughout the route, so much so we wore out three sets of chains.
“It was certainly very exciting and extremely competitive too.”
Norwegian duo Bjorn Andresen and Bennie Roetgerink took the overall title in their 1968 Porsche 911.
To find out more about the Winter Trial visit thewintertrial.nl