Glover ready for 21st Otterburn start

Geoff Glover is aiming for a B11 win on this Sunday’s Ford Parts Cheviot Stages Rally – which will secure him the runners-up spot in the highly competitive Protyre Motorsport UK Asphalt Rally Championship class for a second year in a row.

And remarkably this will be Geoff’s 21st visit to the Otterburn military ranges and his 105th Asphalt Championship start in his self-built, self-financed, rear-wheel drive Vauxhall Astra.

The same 2-litre engine has been in the car since 1997, and whilst it produces a reliable 240bhp, it is now somewhat underpowered compared to some of its 300bhp class rivals – although that hasn’t stopped Geoff scoring some excellent class and overall results.

Geoff has a good record on Otterburn, and most recently won the B11 class in 2016 and 2018. That final result last year secured him second in B11 and ninth in the overall drivers’ standings in the Asphalt Rally Championship.

“I enjoy the challenge of the narrow, twisty and bumpy roads on the Otterburn ranges, which could be classed as my home event being from North Yorkshire, despite navigator Keith Barker being from London,” said Geoff.

“I have competed on Otterburn since 1999, when the Cheviot took place in February, which usually brought the challenge of icy conditions. I can remember awakening in a local bunkhouse at the Borderness Caravan Park to a temperature of -10 degrees C and the first loop of stages being extremely challenging, resulting in a few spins on the black ice that morning.

“Since changing to Michelin tyres supplied through Protyre, the Astra’s handling is improved and is more predictable. This year we have had a few issues with the rear axle, exhaust manifold and a persistent oil leak from the cylinder head with lowering cylinder pressures that means a rebuild of the engine this winter is inevitable. But all in all it’s been a good season.

“Keith Barker has been navigating for me since 2012, with his brother Bob also from London part of the service crew, along with Alistair a long-time friend since we both started work together in 1974.

“We are already making plans for a winter rebuild and looking forward to the 2020 Asphalt Rally Championship and the competitive B11 class.”

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