The Rally Round Team
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Rally Round’s founder and Director is a genuine motorsport enthusiast. Having previously followed Superbikes, Liz has been involved with historic cars for many years alongside her husband and stepson, both of whom compete; she herself has driven on several events from the Pyrennees Rally to the Tour of Wessex, and has navigated on the 2003 and 2007 Mille Miglia, the Rallye des Alpes and the 2010 Peking-Paris. It was that experience that inspired her to set up her own rally company, focusing on customer care and relaxed competition, allowing ample time to socialise and explore the wonders of the world. Liz originally trained as a research biochemist but subsequently ran a successful hospitality business, organising more than 150 events from weddings and art exhibitions to music festivals and fireworks displays. An active member of the Royal Geographical Society, she also has extensive experience of travelling and working abroad, in 1986 as a photographer for the Smithsonian Institute in the South African National Parks and in 1992 on a government agricultural feasibility study in Pakistan. Rally Round’s success is based on her superb organisational skills, extensive experience in business management, customer service and marketing, common sense, humour, enthusiasm and spirit of adventure.
Heidi is our Rally Co-ordinator, with a central role in business development and rally organisation from concept to completion. She is well liked and highly respected in the classic rally world, having been a leading figure in the sport for almost 20 years. It was in May 1996 that she joined the Classic Rally Association (CRA), then headed by Philip Young and Peter Browning, and following the latter’s departure she immediately took over all aspects of CRA event logistics, hotels, sales, team training and office management, leaving Philip free to concentrate on promotion. Following the huge success of the first Peking to Paris Motor Challenge in 1997, Heidi restructured the business and over the next 16 years she and Philip ran groundbreaking events for an ever-increasing number of enthusiasts, founding and co-owning the Endurance Rally Association (ERA), Endurance Rallying Ltd and the Peking to Paris Rally Association Ltd. Whilst Philip was the sport’s acknowledged figurehead, Heidi was the driving force behind the organisation. As Event Director she personally organised more than 40 major international rallies in 65 countries, including the Classic Safari, Lombard Revival, World Cup, Classic Cup, Classic Marathon, Rally of the Tests, Monte Carlo Challenge, London to Istanbul, Around the World in 80 Days, Nile Trial, Dash to Marrakesh, Trans-America Challenge, Flying Scotsman and Peking-Paris.
By August 2012 Heidi felt she needed a break. Having made all necessary preparations to ensure the success of future ERA events, she sold all her interests in the organisation to Philip, terminating their professional and personal relationship, and took time out to recharge her batteries. Returning to the fray in May 2015, she chose to join Rally Round, believing that our philosophy – combining exciting competition with time to socialise and explore a country at leisure – was the right way forward for classic rallying. In addition to her formidable skills and experience as a rally organiser, Heidi is herself an enthusiastic competitor, having driven or navigated on a variety of events including the Rome-Liege-Rome, Tour Britannia, Paris-Madrid, The Road to Mandalay and the Rallye Monte-Carlo Historique, which as a driver she successfully completed three times. She is more than happy to hear from friends old and new, and may be contacted directly by email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Kim is the latest appointment to the Rally Round team and is already playing a key tole in event planning and organisation. Renowned route designer, experienced MSA Steward and Clerk of the Course on countless international events including four Peking to Paris Motor Challenges, seven Flying Scotsman Rallies, three Classic Safaris, three World Cups, two Trans America Challenges, the Lombard Rally and many more, his knowledge, diplomacy and attention to detail are hugely valuable assets and his experience is exceptional; from Asia to Africa, Europe and the Americas, the list of countries he has rallied through is too long to list.
Kim developed his passion for cars and rallying at a tender age, joining the Craven Motor Club and competing from the age of 15. The following year he began an apprenticeship as a mechanic and rapidly rose through the ranks into car sales, dealer management and consultancy whilst simultaneously indulging his love of motorsport at all levels. In 2005, after more than 12 successful years in the motor trade, a call from Heidi Winterbourne presented an opportunity to move into full-time rally organisation and he immediately gave up his automotive consultancy directorship to work on the 2007 Peking to Paris Motor Challenge. The resounding success of that event led him to design the route and act as Clerk of the Course on four more Peking to Paris rallies and many other events, establishing himself as one of the world’s most experienced route designers and an indispensable member of the ERA team.
Following Heidi’s resignation in 2012 and the unfortunate death of Philip Young in 2014, Kim recognised the need for a fresh approach to classic rallying and is particularly pleased to have been approached by Rally Round, which offers exactly that – sporting events for enthusiasts who want to explore and enjoy distant lands without the rigours of relentless, car-breaking competition. “It’s an honour to be part of such a talented and enthusiastic team,” he says. “They’ve worked really hard to establish Rally Round as a standard-setting organisation, meeting the need for exciting, safe and sociable rallies and focusing on customer service. I’m sure that’s the way forward for classic rallying and I’m looking forward to exploring new horizons and contributing to the success of future events, including some I’ve always dreamed of organising, like the Odyssey Italia in September 2017, visiting Corsica, Sardinia and Elba on the way to Tuscany – I can hardly wait!”
Route designer and Clerk of the Course on the 2016 Paris-Vienna and 2017 Paris-Prague rallies, Fred knows what it takes to create a great event, having vast experience both as an organiser and a competitor. He has been Clerk of the Course dozens of events from club rallies to qualifying rounds of the FIA Historic Regularity Rally Championship, such as (for 10 years) the Rally of the Tests, the Irish Classic Trial, the Three Legs of Mann and the Three Castles Welsh Classic Trial. He has also enjoyed considerable success as a navigator on events throughout the UK and Europe, including Le Jog, the Classic Malts, the Classic Marathon, the Winter Challenge, the Winter Trial, the Icelandic Trial, the 1000 Mile Trial and the Rallye Monte-Carlo Historique. Perhaps his most notable achievement came in 2006, when at the Historic Motorsport Awards he was presented with two trophies, as Navigator/Co-Driver of the Year and as Clerk of the Course on the event voted Best Road Rally of the Year. Looking ahead to 2017, he assures us that Paris-Prague will be a truly unforgettable competition, with a route that visits six countries and includes some of the most exciting and spectacular roads in Europe.
Clerk of the Course on the Haka Classic and Samurai Challenge, Peter has gained an enviable reputation and an enormous wealth of experience over more than half a century in the sport. He began competing as a driver in 1961, winning the 1st Novice prize on the Combined Universities Rally. Since then he has rallied with about 80 different partners, both as driver and navigator, although in the last few decades he has concentrated on the latter. In the 1970s and 1980s he competed in no fewer than 14 World Rally Championship events, including nine RAC Rallies. two East African Safari Rallies, two Monte Carlo Rallies and the Swedish Rally. Notable results include a 2nd on the Rallye Monte-Carlo Historique with Stuart Collins, 5th on the Firestone Rally with Kevin Videan and a series of top-ten finishes in the Winter Trial, the best of them 3rd in 2002 with Jayne Wignall.
Peter has also worked in almost every official capacity you can think of, including Secretary, Chief Marshal, Stage Commander, Scrutineer, Course Car Driver, Equipment Officer, Press Officer and even Service Crew Co-ordinator – although these days he says he prefers to keep his hands clean! Indeed he has most experience as Clerk of the Course (or Deputy CoC), having fulfilled that role on more than 50 events, among them the Craven Rally, the Targa Rusticana and Targa Rusticana Historic, the RAC Historic, the Killarney Rally of the Lakes, the Imber Stages Rally, the Inca Trail and London to Capetown (with two different organisers). “I’m happy and honoured to be appointed Clerk of the Course on the Haka Classic and Samurai Challenge rallies,” he says. “They will be my second and third outings with Rally Round, as I’m also marshalling on the Paris-Vienna in June, not to mention flying off to Japan shortly afterwards to write the Samurai Challenge roadbook with Deputy CoC John Bayliss. I certainly have a lot to look forward to!”
Originally from Switzerland, Sandy joined Rally Round in 2014 as Office Administrator and is a pivotal member of the team, running the office with a perpetual smile, superb technical skills and no fewer than five languages at her disposal. A Member of the Institute of Linguistics, she is a fully qualified translator, having gained an MA in Technical, Economic and Legal Translation from the University of Surrey in 1999. She also has more than 10 years experience of travel and event organisation, running her own company with a focus on customer care. Away from the office Sandy has a busy home life with three young boys but still enjoys running triathlons, snowboarding, climbing and of course classic cars.
Jayne is a fully trained and Sage-qualified book-keeper and oversees Rally Round’s daily finances, handling all invoices and purchasing. With more than 11 years accounting experience in industries ranging from bio-technology to beauty, she ensures that our procedures run like clockwork. Jayne’s out-of-office hours are largely taken up with her young family but she still very much enjoys making glass jewellery and fashion accessories.
Dr John Llewellyn
Rally Doctor John, who hails from Wales, trained as a GP in the mid-1980s then headed overseas to work in sports, expedition and travel medicine, general practice and public health. He worked and travelled in remote and difficult environments such as the Australian outback, Asia and South America, including a six-month role as a ship’s surgeon and a brief period looking for landmines in Afghanistan. After a couple of years providing medical care to a mixed community in western Ethiopia, he joined the UK Foreign Office in 1993 as a Regional Medical Officer, looking after staff and their families in South Asia and East Africa. He spent 12 years working in Delhi, travelling widely in India and escorting classic car rallies. Since 2010 he has been based in Ghana, West Africa, specialising in the planning and provision of healthcare for Diplomatic Service staff and their families and advising on health protection in distant lands. Catering for the medical needs of classic car rallies is right up John’s street and his wide-ranging experience, professionalism, calm demeanour and wry humour are invaluable assets to the Rally Round team.
After joining the London Stock Exchange in 1968, David went on to become an entrepreneur in the equity field, selling his company to Swiss Bank Corporation (now UBS) in 1990. He has ‘retired’ three times but is still active as a serial business angel and in mentoring and voluntary work. He has been an avid classic car collector since buying a Jaguar MkII in 1986; five years later he acquired his first racer, a 1952 Connaught A Type, which he still campaigns in events organised by the Historic Grand Prix Cars Association (HGPCA), the Goodwood Revival and Monaco Classic. Over the last 10 years he has aso owned and raced XK120, C Type and Lister Jaguars, an Aston Martin DBR4 and an ERA R12B. David’s rally driving experience includes the Rallye des Alpes, the Mille Miglia and the 2010 Peking to Paris.
Rally Round’s Chief Mechanic, Charlie has overall responsibility for our mechanical support teams and vehicles. A pre-war car specialist, he has worked in the motor industry for more than three decades including 18 years running his own company, McGowan Engineering and Restoration, and has extensive experience with a range of classic marques including Bentley. Bristol, Ford, Healey, Land Rover, Maserati, MG, Porsche, Riley, Triumph, Volvo, VW and Wolseley, to name but a few. A patented inventor, Charlie’s technical nous was evident even in childhood, when he and his brother messed about with tractors, barrows, mowers, a fearsome home-made 250cc kart, several motorcycles, countless Minis and an 88in Land Rover on a Range Rover chassis that he ran in Trials and Hillcimbs. In 2009 he accompanied a friend with a 1926 3-Litre Bentley on the Bentley Alaska Tour, where he was bitten by the endurance rally bug and subsequently rebuilt the car for the 2010 Peking-Paris. Away from rallying, he and wife Dee run a smallholding in Northumberland, where they provide holiday cottages and breed Dexter cattle and Kunekune pigs, selling the meat in their farm shop; Charlie’s hobbies also include breeding and working his labradors, riding and fishing.
Rally Round is very fortunate in being able to call on a pool of enthusiastic mechanics with countless years of experience in everything from contemporary Formula One engineering to historic car restoration. Led by Charlie McGowan, they are a rare breed of higly skilled, resourceful and creative people who thrive on challenges and will do their utmost to keep you on the road. For more information, see our On the Event Advice page.