Speedball Rally 18-22nd August

This is going to be a dedicated thread for those of us going on the Speedball Rally this year. Some of the earlier posts on here will have been cut and pasted from my posts on the Speedball forum, but as far as I’m aware only Mark, Russ and Malcolm frequent that site. So for the benefit of the others that are going and for general info I am reposting some of the general posts that are of interest.

The closing date has now passed on this event, and there are 30 cars booked up for the event including seven GTO’s. Those going are:

Mark Sturman & Russ Caitlan
Ben Hartley & Mark Callister
Brendan & Young Brendan Fennell
Frankie & Matthew Brennan
Malcolm Webb & Bianca
Dave Wright & Mark Stewart

The seventh GTO is a young lady called Penny O’Sullivan from Devon who I believe is not a club member but will be by the time she gets back.

My mate John & his co-pilot Simon are also going in a 996 Porsche taking the place of Stevie who unfortunately had to drop out for personal reasons.

Heres a taste of what we are in for:

Day 1

The starting point will be in the centre of London - Hyde Park; from there we will leave in convoy to Dover where we will make our way to onto the ferry to Dunkerque. Here a further briefing will be given and there will be time to get to know some of the other competitors better. From here we will drive to Amsterdam. Once in Amsterdam we book into our hotel and then we are free to explore everything that Amsterdam has to offer - should we wish!

Day 2

Leaving in the morning we will be facing the ‘endurance’ leg of the entire rally. Mainly motorway roads we will drive to Prague. In Prague we have hired out a very trendy restaurant/bar/nightclub for our use where everyone will meet and discuss our progress so far - long may the party continue here!

Day 3

This is the shortest days drive but it will give us time to explore Prague and what it has to offer and from there we then will cross back into Germany to the Nurburgring! So leaving Prague late morning we will take the short 6 hour trip to the Nurburgring where we will meet everyone at 'Joseph’s Bar’ for the night where we can once again party or take it easy in preparation for an exciting day on the track.

Day 4

A whole day will be dedicated to the Nurburg circuit, plus we will be able to see the Nurburgring museum, the F1 pit lane and then track time to push the car to its limit!! No rest though, as from here there is a drive to Hasselt in Belgium where once again we have hired out a restaurant/bar to party on and compare lap times!!

Day 5

Depart Hasselt towards Calais – The final day is a simple drive home to the SW of England where…yes you’ve guessed it…a huge party is organised with band, DJs and dinner.

Can’t wait now


Check List

Based on my limited experience gained on the Le Manns run, I thought I would post this check list as an aid to those who have not done similar events. I hope I’m not teaching too many people to suck eggs!!

Get the car serviced & fully prepared at least 2 weeks before the off, that leaves time to fix anything you or the garage find & to make sure the garage haven’t cocked up anything on the service.

If you are worried about Tyres, Brake pads or clutches change before you go, I’ve seen too many clutches fail, remember the car will get several thousand hard miles.

Things to take

Anything required legally in the countries we are visiting, the RAC site has a good country by country guide, don’t forget 2 luminous vests http://www.rac.co.uk/web/travelservices/european_motoring_advisor/
First Aid Kit
Fire Extinguisher
Spare bulbs
Any parts that are known to be suspect on your car & can be carried easily
List showing where dealers for your car are located in the countries we are visiting if applicable
Full sized spare if your car has a space saver
Basic tool kit + a hammer (how often have you needed something heavy)
Check the jack & wheel brace are serviceable (we’re taking a small trolley jack)
Key for locknuts if fitted + a spare wheel nut
Selection of cable ties
Selection of jubilee clips (Thanks Cobus)
Roll of duck tape
Halfords do a set of tapes to repair broken lenses in red orange etc, very useful
Can of flat tyre inflator
Can of Petrol
Tin of brake/clutch fluid
Spare set of car keys (not kept in the car)
Tow rope
A decent recovery insurance & check the small print, some include hire cars, some just include a taxi to the nearest airport & a standby budget flight home
Copious supply of Red Bull
Small 12volt fridge
A few non perishable snacks & some water
Decent maps, Michelin Europe is fairly comprehensive,
Sat nav (If you got one great) Ok until you want to divert for a blocked road so a map as well is IMO essential


Speeding on the Continent

Apparently a Porsche & Ferrari that were caught speeding have been confiscated by the French Police & will be sold at some future date.

If you can speak French (I can’t) there are some details here


Does the second paragraph say the Kent Police tipped off the French, if yes then its the same as what happened last year in the Cannonball. Shame the French Police couldn’t stop all the illegals we kept getting!!!

I think the Common sense approach is to keep within the speed limits until we are well away from the coast is essential, certainly if we run as a group.

It will be interesting to see if Plod is sniffing round at the start.

Translated (Badly)

LILLE, North (Reuters) - Two British motorists, one at the wheel of Ferrari, the other of Porsche, were controlled Sunday in excess speed at the time of a race-continuation started in England and which should have been completed in Italy, learns one near the gendarmerie.

The French gendarmes were warned by the police force of Kent that the two racing cars were going to cross France to join Italy while taking part in a wild race.

One of the cars was controlled with 244 km/h, the other with 190 km/h on the motorway A26 (Calais-Rheims) with height of Béthune (Pas-de-Calais).

The drivers, placed in police custody, were to be presented at the parquet floor of Béthune Monday afternoon.

Two other British drivers were controlled Sunday morning at the wheel of big-engined cars to 187 and 233 km/h on other motorways of the North-Not-of-Calais area.

For two years, the police forces Frenchwoman and British have cooperated to intercept participants in these wild races, organized between two cities to connect in record time.

Another article translated which explains it better.

Excess speed: final confiscation of Ferrari and Porsche for two British road hogs BETHUNE (AP) - the court correctional of Béthune (Pas-de-Calais) pronounced Tuesday the final confiscation of two sports cars, Ferrari 360 and one turbo Porsche 993, owned by two British drivers were caught on Sunday evening on the A26 motorway at respective speeds of 257 and 190km/h. Mark Shafari, 47 years, and Gerald Harrison, 25 years, formed part of a group of forty cars Sunday evening in Calais. They were taking part in the “Cannonball Run”, a race whose objective is to drive from Calais to Rimini in Italy as soon as possible. The two British drivers were charged with driving at excessive high speed and endangering the lives of others. It would appear that this is the first time in France that foreign motorists have had their cars confiscated. In addition to this confiscation, the road hogs were condemned each to three months in prison with deferment and 1.000 euros of fine. The vehicles will be sold at a later date by auction.

Some food for thought guys


I’ve been giving this some more thought. It just needs a little common sense. We know the Gendarmes in and around Calais have a hard-on for UK drivers and organised rallies. Speeding on the auto routes, especially near Calais, is asking for trouble in my opinion. Confiscating those two cars is obviously a hideous over-reaction though from the French authorities, which will almost certainly be overturned on appeal.

Just be sensible when you need to be like border crossings, ports, etc, and less sensible when the opportunities are there (like most of the rest of the 2,000 miles). I think the rest of the time you are likely to be able to make swifter progress safely and uninterrupted.

Obviously we have an obligation to the partners and sponsors who made the event as affordable as it is, but if things do get ridiculous then, of course, the stickers can come off.


Additional advice on driving in Europe

Just found some interesting stuff on MSN Driving abroad site - Note in particular restrictions on fuel cans for the Tunnel, speed limit on motorways in Italy and driving with headlights on in Italy.

Fuel can

Carrying a can of spare fuel in the boot isn’t as sensible as it might sound: fuel cans are not permitted on car ferries or Le Shuttle, whether full or empty, and in several European countries it’s illegal to have one in the car.

GB sticker

Vehicles fitted with the new-style euro plate (a number plate that incorporates the EU symbol plus the letters GB) no longer need to show a separate GB sticker when visiting other EU countries. However, if your car has the old number plate, you must by law still fit a GB sticker as close to your rear number plate as possible. If you are towing a trailer or caravan, you’ll need another sticker for that too.

Warning triangle

It’s compulsory to carry a warning triangle in your car in most European countries except Spain and Turkey, which demand you must have two. In many countries, including France, you should carry a set of spare light bulbs too.


Motorists in some countries love the sound of their horn, but don’t be tempted to join in the local horn chorus. Many places are getting sick of incessant honking and are introducing laws to stop unnecessary horn use, especially in town.

On the spot fines

If the police pull you over to hand out a fine, in many countries they’ll demand to be paid there and then, in cash. French police, for instance, are empowered to collect up to 375 Euros on the spot, although I know from personal experience that they can demand 750 euros. If you don’t have the readies, expect to be escorted to the nearest cash machine to cough up.

I know these next two don’t affect us on this trip but I thought I’d post it up for general info anyway.


Italians, always known for their fast and furious driving, have an extra opportunity to put their foot down now that the speed limit on major motorways there has been increased to 150 kph (93 mph). Visitors to Italy should also note the new requirement to keep headlamps lit at all times when driving out of town.


Don’t drive on the motorway in Austria or Switzerland without first purchasing a vignette, or motorway tax disc, and displaying it on your windscreen.


Been reading the Cannonball forum and read an interesting fact.

As we all are aware the foreign police eye on suspiciously when we travel in Europe stickered up, this is legal although they do frown upon it but what is illegal is the wearing of a number on your car as this demonstrates that you are in a race not a cruise. Numbered cars are competitive so might be an idea not to fit them to your car.


I was chatting with Dave (DMC) last night, Dave returned on Saturday after eight days of crossing Europe on the Furball Rally. The Furball travelled down through France to Monaco and returned up through the Alps, Switzerland and Italy, Mont Blanc tunnel etc. What was interesting though was the fact that all the way through France they were pulled over and documents checked etc. There was even a police reception waiting for them in Calais. This proves the point that the British police advice with car reg numbers their French counterparts that we are on the way.

Although we are not doing a great amount of driving in France and Belgium we should be very observant of the speed limits until we at least we reach Holland.


I bought my European cover this morning £54 for Comprehensive Cover Zone one, I take my chances on the one over night stay in Prauge which is in Zone 2.



You guys must make sure you are careful out there!! It’s no longer acceptable in Europe to be doing crazy speeds! I think we have definitely seen the last “free” event of this type.

Personally after my experience on the CBRE 2004, I definitely wouldn’t be putting stickers on my car. They caused us tremendous problems just by being associated. At least if you are driving without stickers, you can get away with just driving through Europe - no association to the race.

Make sure you hide all your paperwork on the run at all times … otherwise, the first time you are stopped, the cops will have their hands on ALL the details. This also goes for ANY filming, digital or tape, make sure you HIDE the evidence of high speed video or photography (I suggest a secret section somewhere that is EASY to get to, say a small panel down by the ECU, or under the central glovebox. As soon as you see coppers, empty the cameras and hide the videos and memory cards (make sure you have some harmless tapes or memory cards readily available to replace the hidden ones.

It might sound amazingly obvious, but what a difference it will make to your life if you are stopped. Make sure you do the swap while you are slowing down ready to pull over!! This caught quite a few Cannonballers out when they were stopped and searched!! The first thing the cops will go for is the cameras!

Be VERY aware at every toll booth you come to. Their favourite place to stop you is at the tolls - or literally just after them … they have a controlled space and can get you easily. Worth hiding your footage before the tolls, just in case.

Another thing … DO NOT UNDER ANY CIRCUMSTANCES TAKE YOUR RADAR DETECTORS!!! You will immediately be slapped with a massive fine and could end up in the can overnight. They are HIGHLY illegal in Europe. Even if you aren’t speeding and they are just stopping you for the hell of it, if they see a radar detector, you are in big big big trouble.

Useful to have a passenger or yourself who understands the language of the countries you are going through. Andy proved very useful on the CBRE 2004 when he was able to talk to the cops in Spanish and at least built up a rapport which got some of us off lightly with minimal 350Euro fines (illegal fines I might add).

Another thing … have a FIRE EXTENGUISHER with you. Preferably a medium to large one … the small ones are useless. You’d be amazed how many cars overheat and go up in flames, particularly the tuned ones.

Another thing … TYRES!!! Check you tyres regularly … make sure they are well pumped up … the harder they are the better off you are when doing regular high speeds. I bought and installed a Smartire system - which gave me live readouts of temps and pressures in the car. I won’t go into the physics of it, but if you’re gonna run hot … i.e. regularly over 120mph or so, you will need to make sure your tyres are at 34-38psi cold. Seriously, if your tyres are low, you WILL blow a tyre. I’ve done it twice (30psi - 155mph and 32psi - 145mph) without knowing why, then had a lesson from Mr Michelin - the tyres delaminated from the inside out - soft tyres flex and cause heat at speed - hence they melt.

Anything else I think of I’ll post up.

Good luck

The night we return guys there is a celebration party at the beacon Hotel in Exmouth . http://www.royalbeaconhotel.co.uk/

George’s family own the hotel, quite up market and we get a discount, the whole hotel has been given over for one night to the Speedballers. Each person has to confirm their own booking, so I’m afraid that you have to do this direct - on 01395264886, that would be much appreciated.


Thanks for all the advice Brendon. There were a few things I didnt know. Just returned from motorcycle trip thro Spain into Portugal. Reached imagined speeds of 180mph and regularly cruising at 120, but what got folk stopped was crossing the white lines. They are really tough on those who do it in Spain. A thing to watch I think since it cost 150 euros a time.


Ok Guys, George has asked me to ask if you can log on and vote on the poll for meals at the two following stop over points. Heres the details of his post:

The two venues that I have booked (Prague & Hasselt) will require us to pre-order our meals which we will do on the first day. If you do not wish to be a part that is fine, however, these meals will not be expensive (in the region of £15-£20 per head) and will be better quality than a McDonalds and includes the entertainment in Prague.

As these dinners are not compulsory, please can you vote on the poll to let me know interest in these meals so that I may organise with the venue, but I would urge you to take part as we will be a large group…more the merrier and all that

Main courses will be a meat and fish option (with vegetarian if required)


If any of you guys going have walkie talkies bring them along. I have four hand sets with 6km range so we will need another three or four.

Post up and let me know what you guys have


We have a pair of radios we use for pit- car etc, but the range is $h!t!



Hows the car building going Ben? Will it be ready for next Friday?

If you want to feel better, ring Mark or Russ and listen to how much they still have to do. :lol:


Well, you know us Bren! Last minute.com, but we’ll do it!

Been talking to Mark and Russ these last few days!

Got our stuff today through the post. Got no numbers though? Did you guys?



Full list of all cars going. Your’re number 18 Ben, if you dont have any numbers ask Stevie if he can knock a couple up for you


01 George Nightingale - Nissan 350z - Exmouth Devon
02 Mark Sturman - Mitsubishi GTO TT - Plymouth Devon
03 Chris Wildman - Nissan Skyline - Saltash Cornwall
04 Pete Stewart - Audi A4 - Exmouth Devon
05 Robin Lyons-Smith - BMW Mini - Exeter Devon
06 Graham Warwick - Toyota Supra - Crediton Devon
07 Dave Hodgkisson - Audi TT - Lichfield Staffordshire
08 Gregg Holdsworth - Vauxhall Corsa - Rotherham S.Yorkshire
09 Phil Reed - Masarati - Exeter Devon
10 Mark Fitzgerald - Seat Ibiza - Rotherham S.Yorkshire
11 Penny O’Sullivan - Jaguar XK8 Convertable - Crediton Devon
12 Malcom Webb - Mitsubishi GTO TT - Brighton
13 Brendan Fennell - Mitsubishi GTO TT - Bedford
14 Glen Cooling - Rover 214 - Exmouth Devon
15 Fred Pope - Mitsubishi Gallant Est VR4 - Honiton Devon
16 Chris Carter - Seat Leon - Stockport
17 John Anderson - Porsche 996 - Hitchin Herts
18 Ben Hartley - Mitsubishi GTO TT - Reading Berks
19 David Wright - Mitsubishi GTO TT - Preston Lancs
20 Frank Brannan - Mitsubishi GTO TT - Newquay Cornwall
21 Andrew Greenhalgh - Smart Brabus - Exeter Devon
22 Luke Hurdman - VW Golf R32 - Clapham London
23 Lisa O’Connell - Seat Leon - Stockport
24 Piers Cockerill - Nissan Skyline GTR - Saltash Cornwall
25 Adam Elston - Toyota Soarer - Saltash Cornwall
26 Jeffery Harris - Camero - Saltash Cornwall
27 Mark Townsend - Volvo 850T5r - Taunton Somerset
28 Christian Hayes - Rover 623 V-TEC - Crediton Devon
29 John Hemming - Vauxhall Nova - Paignton Devon
30 Luke Stylianou - MG ZR - Newton Abbott Devon


As if we didn’t have enough to do; you go and give us more :lol: :lol:

Engine should be in the car today, then all thats left is loads of fabrication. Oh and then strip your car down :lol:


Its so nice to see that you guys aren’t leaving this to the last minute or anything!!!


Just a thought, which I think I will also pose in the general section,

Do you need a helmet to drive round the ring? Or do they hire them out there?