Publican goes for rally title

A PUBLICAN with an enviable record in a world-famous car rally based on the film The Italian Job is today poised for his third attempt at the title.Harvey Shand, assistant manager at The Seal, Woodbridge, won the event when he first entered in 1998 with his son Stuart and then the following year they came sixth.

A PUBLICAN with an enviable record in a world-famous car rally based on the film The Italian Job is today poised for his third attempt at the title.

Harvey Shand, assistant manager at The Seal, Woodbridge, won the event when he first entered in 1998 with his son Stuart and then the following year they came sixth.

Now Mr Shand and another son James, 25, are giving their Mini a final check before they take part in the 16th running of the contest - but Mr Shand is keeping his feet firmly on the ground and says it would be an achievement just to finish.

The pair, from Tanyard Court, Station Road, Woodbridge, are aiming to raise £1,500 for the event's chosen charity, the NCH children's charity, and they are appealing for sponsorship from companies who would like to advertise on the side of the Mini.


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They are also selling raffle tickets at the pub and at Abbotts auction rooms, Campsea Ashe, where James is a porter, with the first prize of a Mini.

They have spent an ''absolute fortune'' on preparing the Mini for the rigorous test in Italy at the end of this month and Mr Shand said he was delighted with the technical expertise given by Phil Smy, workshop manager at Edmondsons, Melton.

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The Mini was stripped down to bare metal and then rebuilt incorporating special features. They include speed measuring devices, rally type bucket seats, full harness, special brakes, roll cage and other extras to help them.

The event will attract more than 100 entrants from Britain and other countries and the teams will be challenged to arrive within a second of the estimated time at the end of each stage.

Mr Shand, who celebrate his 59th birthday during the rally, said: ''Reliability is key here and the secret of success will be to go slow and steady with an attention to detail. I love the buzz associated with the rally and the friendship. There will be some incredible machines there and whatever you have done to your car it will never be the best or the fastest.''

When Mr Shand won the rally he had to borrow a car at the last minute. He had spent two years building a works replica Cooper S Mini and then discovered the brake pads were not good enough for a mountain stage but the replacement car was up to the challenge.

The rally is for Minis and classic cars featured in the Michael Caine film.

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