Lynn-based Hylton Gott Volvo entered the fifth round of the popular Motorsport News Circuit Rally Championship as title sponsors of the event held at the Snetterton racetrack.
The Downham Road site gave their backing to the rally, held at the fearsome Norfolk circuit, as the event reached stage five in the eight-round championship, by suppling five support vehicles.
For use by the organisers and officials marshalling the event, Hylton Gott loaned the support officials a V60 Cross Country and two V40 hatchbacks alongside the mighty XC90 and the new S90 saloon, both part of Volvo’s ground-breaking 90 series.
Ninety crews were tasked with completing eight stages, around 10 miles each, throughout the day, using both the legendary ex-airfield-based circuit and its surrounding support roads, service areas and even car parks!
Stages were a combination of clockwise and anticlockwise configurations with tight sections included to keep the average speeds clocked at around 70mph.
Five differing classes were catered for, ranging from Class 1, sub 1-litre, two-wheel drive cars, all the way up to the menacing WRC-spec turbo-charged, four-wheel drive contenders in Class 5.
Not content with just supplying vehicles, the rally also became a family affair when dealer principal Steve Tilburn and his son, Hylton Gott master technician Jack Tilburn, entered their own Ford Escort RS 2500 in Class 4 (2.5-litre two-wheel drive).
Service manager and master technician Robert John and his father Gareth John, who works in Hylton Gott’s valet department, also competed in their Toyota MR2 in Class 2 (1.6-litre two-wheel drive).
Even Hylton Gott body shop manager Jody Wilson was waiting on the side-lines to help tend to both cars’ mechanical needs throughout the rally – hoping his bodywork skills wouldn’t be required.
Commenting on the event, Steve Tilburn, Hylton Gott dealer principal, said: “With a rallying pedigree running throughout the dealership, Hylton Gott was proud to be the title sponsors of the Snetterton stage for Motorsport News’ Circuit Rally Championship.
“We received brilliant support from the crowd as competitors and from those who recognised our Volvo vehicles out on the track too.
“Despite nearly 80 miles of challenging driving on the day, the hardest part of the event was attempting to retrieve the keys from the lucky officials who had been gifted the Volvo loan cars for the day – they had grown attached to them.”
Both family crews came away triumphant with class trophies for their efforts. Steve and Jack finishing a gallant second in class and sixth overall while Robert and Gareth placed third in class and 38th overall.
Hylton Gott rally behind fifth round of Motorsport News Championship