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The Samurai Challenge

12 April – 5 May 2017

The first competitive UK-organised rally ever to visit Japan
Jaguar MkIV square

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Rally Round’s Samurai Challenge was the first UK-organised competitive rally ever to visit Japan, simultaneously ancient and futuristic and surely one of the most fascinating countries on Earth. Following the Spring flowering of the iconic cherry blossom (sakura), crews competed in a series of regularity sections and special tests along a spectacular route of 4,660km (2,896 miles) from Fukuoka in the south to Lake Toya in the north. In keeping with our established philosophy, the event was run to a relaxed schedule, with relatively short daily driving distances allowing participants to enjoy an amazing variety of natural, man-made and cultural treasures, from primeval landscapes and brooding volcanoes to the brilliant, neon-lit metropolis of Toyko and the island home of the Kodo Drummers.

After 23 days of thrilling competition, crews crossed the finish line at the awesomely beautiful Lake Toya in brilliant sunshine. We extend hearty congratulations to every single one of them, especially Martinus and Josephina Aaldering of the Netherlands, who drove their 1937 Alvis Speed 25 to overall victory by a margin of four minutes and 46 seconds. In second place were Swiss-German crew Marco Halter and Claudia Engelhardt in their 1963 Ford Falcon, one minute and 40 seconds ahead of the 1971 Datsun 240Z of Americans Colin Winkelman and Lexton Moy (not forgetting previous co-drivers Luca Fiore and Adam Karger). A splendid gala dinner and prizegiving ceremony was accompanied by marvellous Yosakoi dancers, whereupon crews naturally gravitated to the hotel bar, where celebrations continued long into the night!

You’ll find a full list of award winners below, and you may re-live the event at any time via our rally blog and videos – simply click on the links below.

Testimonials

‘A brilliant rally, totally different to anything we’d experienced before but as ever you managed to give us amazing experiences and so many ‘wow’ moments – an enormous thank you to all the team.’ Biddy & Bill Bolsover

‘What a trip! WHAT A TRIP! Thank you for your extraordinary powers of organisation. Another fantastic Rally Round effort – seamless logistics, excellent route, wonderful activities. Once again you and your fabulous team excelled with ridiculous attention to detail to create a superb experience for us all. We really, really enjoyed it and had a fantastic time. Well done! I look forward to our next outing!’ Paddy Walker

‘Congratulations on a memorable trip. We enjoyed every moment and will take some very good and lasting memories home with us. The route book and descriptions  were excellent, a great credit to John and Peter, I cannot imagine the hours that went into their production. Your partners Into Japan were terrific too – an inspirational choice. Many thanks from us both.’ Phillip & Yvonne Haslam

‘Another great experience! Well done!’ Gerry Crown

‘Thanks for a great time! Very well organized and no surprises – we like that. The two days on Sado were well worth the effort!’ Jan Woien

‘Thank you and all your crew for an excellent event. This was our first trip to Japan and you made it a very memorable one – we enjoyed it immensely. We’re looking forward to doing another Rally Round event in future.’ Adele & David Cohen

‘Thank you for a fantastic rally, we thoroughly enjoyed it and will treasure the memories.’ Ries & Lenie Oostlander

‘ Thank you for the Samurai Challenge. We enjoyed everything – the country, the people, the route, the hotels and the food (mostly!). Now we look forward to the photo book and DVD so we can see again what we all experienced.’ Jan & Marion Van Gemert

 

Click here to watch our latest event video

Rally Round Samurai Challenge 2017

 

Samurai Challenge Award Winners

AwardNoDriver / Co-DriverCar
THE SAMURAI CHALLENGE
1st Overall11Martinus Aaldering / Josephina Aaldering-Freriks (NLD/NLD)1936 Alvis Speed 25
2nd Overall29Marco Halter / Claudia Engelhardt (CHE/DEU)1963 Ford Falcon
3rd Overall40Colin Winkelman / Luca Fiore / Adam Karger / Lexton Moy (USA/ITA/USA/USA) 1971 Datsun 240Z
CLASS 1 Vintage up to 3800cc
1st8Jan Woien / Jan Erik Hansen (NOR/NOR)1935 Alvis Speed 20
2nd7Geoff Rawlings / Penny Rawlings (GBR/GBR)1934 Talbot AV95/105
3rd4Jose Romao de Sousa / Maria Romao de Sousa (PRT/PRT)1932 Alvis Speed 20 SA
CLASS 2 Vintage 3801cc and above
1st3Engelbertus Kersten / Franklin Soree (NLD/NLD)1931 Bentley 8.0
2nd5Martin Egli / Anne Egli (CHE/CHE)1933 Lagonda M45
3rd15Jean Steinhauser / Anne Steinhauser (LUX/LUX)1937 Bentley Derby Open Tourer
CLASS 3 Classic up to 2500cc
1st27David Harrison / Julia Harrison (GBR/GBR)1958 Porsche 356A
2nd37Alastair Caldwell / Laurel Smith (GBR/USA)1968 Porsche 912
3rd33Shaun Dixon / Eleanor Dixon (GBR/GBR)1965 Mercedes-Benz 230 SL
CLASS 4 Classic 2501cc to 3800cc
1st38Philip Macwhirter / Laurette Macwhirter (AUS/AUS)1969 Morgan Plus 8
2nd23Keith Ashworth / Norah Ashworth (GBR/GBR)1955 Jaguar XK140
3rd41Roger Allen / Maggie Gray (AUS/AUS)1971 BMW 2800CS
CLASS 5 Classic 3801cc and above
1st34Gerald Crown / Matt Bryson (AUS/AUS)1974 Leyland P76
2nd45Alan Pontin / Carol Pontin (GBR/GBR)1973 Jaguar E-Type V12
3rd48Gerd Buhler / Birgit Deymann-Buhler (DEU/DEU)1979 Mercedes-Benz 450 SLC
CLASS 6 Special
1st52Fritz Kozka / Gabriele Jaeger-Kozka (DEU/DEU)2017 Nissan X-Trail
BEST NEWCOMER AWARD33Shaun Dixon / Eleanor Dixon (GBR/GBR)1965 Mercedes-Benz 230 SL
TRUE GRIT AWARD25Ellen Vermeulen (NLD)1956 Jaguar XK140
SPIRIT OF THE RALLY AWARD2Chris Lunn / Christopher Myers (GBR/GBR)1929 Bentley 4.5
SADO TROPHY27David Harrison / Julia Harrison (GBR/GBR)1958 Porsche 356A
TEST AWARDS
Kyushu Honda Circuit - Vintage12Xavier del Marmol / Ines Bodmer (BEL/CHE)1937 Chevrolet Master DeLuxe
Kyushu Honda Circuit - Classic29Marco Halter / Claudia Engelhardt (CHE/DEU)1963 Ford Falcon
Autopolis Lakeside Circuit - Vintage11Martinus Aaldering / Josephina Aaldering-Freriks (NLD/NLD)1936 Alvis Speed 25
Autopolis Lakeside Circuit - Classic37Alastair Caldwell / Laurel Smith (GBR/USA)1968 Porsche 912
Autopolis P3 - Vintage8Jan Woien / Jan Erik Hansen (NOR/NOR)1935 Alvis Speed 20
Autopolis P3 - Classic22Phillip Haslam / Yvonne Haslam (GBR/GBR)1954 Jaguar XK120
Festika Circuit - Vintage3Engelbertus Kersten / Franklin Soree (NLD/NLD)1931 Bentley 8.0
Festika Circuit - Classic34Gerald Crown / Matt Bryson (AUS/AUS)1974 Leyland P76
Fuji APG Circuit - Vintage4Jose Romao de Sousa / Maria Romao de Sousa (PRT/PRT)1932 Alvis Speed 20 SA
Fuji APG Circuit - Classic40Colin Winkelman / Luca Fiore / Adam Karger / Lexton Moy (USA/ITA/USA/USA) 1971 Datsun 240Z
Niigata Short Circuit - Vintage15Jean Steinhauser / Anne Steinhauser (LUX/LUX)1937 Bentley Derby Open Tourer
Niigata Short Circuit - Classic38Philip Macwhirter / Laurette Macwhirter (AUS/AUS)1969 Morgan Plus 8
New Kyowa Circuit - Vintage2Chris Lunn / Christopher Myers (GBR/GBR)1929 Bentley 4.5
New Kyowa Circuit - Classic48Gerd Buhler / Birgit Deymann-Buhler (DEU/DEU)1979 Mercedes-Benz 450 SLC
Aomori Circuit - Vintage5Martin Egli / Anne Egli (CHE/CHE)1933 Lagonda M45
Aomori Circuit - Classic45Alan Pontin / Carol Pontin (GBR/GBR)1973 Jaguar E-Type V12

Entry List

Entries are categorized as Vintage, Classic or Special – see the Results page for Class definitions

NoDriverCo-DriverCar (Category)Engine cc
1Cornelis Willemse (NLD)Ingeborg Van t' Hof (NLD)1925 Chrysler B-70 Phaeton (V)3294
2Chris Lunn (GBR)Christopher Myers (GBR)1929 Bentley 4.5 (V)4398
3Engelbertus Kersten (NLD)Franklin Soree (NLD)1931 Bentley 8.0 (V)7983
4Jose Romao de Sousa (PRT)Maria Romao de Sousa (PRT)1932 Alvis Speed 20 SA (V)2511
5Martin Egli (CHE)Anne Egli (CHE)1933 Lagonda M45 (V)4453
6Jan Dingemans (BEL)Marleen Dingemans (BEL)1933 Lagonda M45 (V)4467
7Geoff Rawlings (GBR)Penny Rawlings (GBR)1934 Talbot AV95/105 (V)2995
8Jan Woien (NOR)Jan Erik Hansen (NOR)1935 Alvis Speed 20 (V)3571
9Adrian Shooter (GBR)Barbara Shooter (GBR)1935 Ford V8 Coupe (V)3622
10Herman de Jong (NLD)Vera de Jong (NLD)1935 Bentley Derby Tourer (V)3669
11Martinus Aaldering (NLD)Josephina Aaldering-Freriks (NLD)1936 Alvis Speed 25 (V)3571
12Xavier del Marmol (BEL)Ines Bodmer (CHE)1937 Chevrolet Master DeLuxe (V)4000
14Paddy Walker (GBR)Peter Dennis (GBR) / Scott Greenhalgh (GBR) / Richard Cunningham (GBR)1937 Buick Coupe (V)4000
15Jean Steinhauser (LUX)Anne Steinhauser (LUX)1937 Bentley Derby Open Tourer (V)4410
16Michael McInerney (GBR)Eunice McInerney (GBR)1940 Ford V8 Coupe (V)3622
19Chris Evans (GBR)Sophie Evans (GBR)1970 Fiat Moretti 850 (C)982
20Johannes Lips (BEL)Julian Griffiths (GBR)1952 Mercedes-Benz 220 B (C)2195
21Bill Bolsover (GBR)Biddy Bolsover (GBR)1953 Jaguar XK120 (C)3440
22Phillip Haslam (GBR)Yvonne Haslam (GBR)1954 Jaguar XK120 DHC (C)3449
23Keith Ashworth (GBR)Norah Ashworth (GBR)1955 Jaguar XK140 FHC (C)3442
24FM Claessens (NLD)Antoinette Claessens (NLD)1956 Rolls Royce Silver Cloud I (C)7428
25Rob van Ravensteijn (NLD)Willem Vermeulen (NLD) / Ellen Vermeulen (NLD)1956 Jaguar XK140 (C)3442
26Ries Oostlander (NLD)Lenie Oostlander (NLD)1957 Mercedes-Benz 220 S (C)2200
27David Harrison (GBR)Julia Harrison (GBR)1958 Porsche 356A (C)1600
28Chris Krzak (GBR)Carol Krzak (GBR)1960 Jaguar XK150 (C)3850
29Marco Halter (CHE)Claudia Engelhardt (DEU)1963 Ford Falcon (C)4950
30Mauro Faldini (ITA)Anna Faldini (ITA)2017 Nissan X-Trail (S)1997
31David Cohen (CAN)Adele Cohen (CAN)1965 Porsche 356 (C)1600
32Hans-Ulrich Wartenweiler (CHE)Ursula Berger (CHE)1965 Volvo 122 (C)1780
33Shaun Dixon (GBR)Eleanor Dixon (GBR)1965 Mercedes-Benz 230 SL (C)2306
34Gerald Crown (AUS)Matt Bryson (AUS)1974 Leyland P76 (C)4400
35Jan van Gemert (NLD)Marion van Gemert (NLD)1965 Ford Mustang (C)4727
36Hans Middelberg (USA)Jurgen Grolman (DEU)1967 Ford Mustang Convertible (C)4727
37Alastair Caldwell (GBR)Laurel Smith (USA)1968 Porsche 912 (C)1972
38Philip Macwhirter (AUS)Laurette Macwhirter (AUS)1969 Morgan Plus 8 (C)3525
39Dean Golding (GBR)Kendal Golding (GBR)1969 Rolls-Royce Corniche (C)6250
40Colin Winkelman (USA)Luca Fiore (ITA) / Adam Karger (USA) / Lexton Moy (USA) 1971 Datsun 240Z (C)2343
41Roger Allen (AUS)Maggie Gray (AUS)1971 BMW 2800CS (C)2788
42LLoyd Reddington (CAN)Treacy Reddington (CAN)1971 Morgan Plus 8 (C)3525
43Nicholas Pryor (GBR)Lesley Stockwell (GBR)1972 Mercedes-Benz 350 SL (C)3499
44Frank Bird (AUS)Jason Bird (AUS) / Maurie Smith (AUS)1972 Jensen Interceptor (C)7196
45Alan Pontin (GBR)Carol Pontin (GBR)1973 Jaguar E-Type V12 (C)5344
46Marco Fila (ITA)Stephanie Gout (MEX)1976 Bentley Corniche (C)6750
47Philip Garratt (GBR)Kieron Brown (GBR)1977 Triumph Stag (C)2997
48Gerd Buhler (DEU)Birgit Deymann-Buhler (DEU)1979 Mercedes-Benz 450 SLC (C)4520
49Jan Tonnby (CHE/SWE)Ingela Tonnby (CHE/SWE)1982 Mercedes-Benz 500 SL (C)4973
50Jonathon Lyons (GBR)Leandro Albuquerque (BRA)1983 Mercedes-Benz 500 SL (C)4973
51Norman Yung (GBR)Liza Yung (GBR)1999 Bentley Continental (S)6750
52Fritz Kozka (DEU)Gabriele Jaeger-Kozka (DEU)2017 Nissan X-Trail (S)1997
53Giorgio Cumin (ITA)Carla Bonassi (ITA)2017 Nissan Skyline 350GT (S)3498
54Klaus Konopizky (AUT)Barbara Konopizky (DEU)2017 Nissan X-Trail Hybrid (S)1997

Rally Round Samurai Challenge Start

Flagged away – the 1925 Chrysler B-70 Phaeton of Cornelis Willemse and Ingeborg Van t’Hof leaves the Samurai Challenge start line in Fukuoka