Last weekend saw Phil Harris of Harris & Co, make the competition debut of his 1963 Mini Cooper after its complete restoration by RSR Historic Engineering.
The odds were really stacked against Phil and co-driver Alan Walker. Not only was this the first time the car had been used competitively, it was also Phil"s first forest rally for 27 years. To add further challenges, it was Phil"s first forest stage event on pace notes and the early Sunday morning stages were covered in hard packed snow and sheet ice!
Phil"s target for the event was to get to the finish and gain some valuable experience in the car.
Phil and Alan were quick off the mark, though, and were third fastest in Category 1 (pre 1968 cars) on the first 8 mile stage through Crychan.
They kept up a good pace all day, although they lost about a minute in stage 4 with a rear puncture.
The car ran flawlessly, thanks to the excellent preparation by RSR Historic Engineering. The service crew of Rob Smith and Jason Thomas had little to do on the event, other than give the car a quick clean!!
Phil and Alan were delighted to not only finish the event, but also to win their class and finish 5th overall in Category 1.
"It was a dream debut" beamed a very happy Phil Harris.