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Brutal Le Jog prompts gap year for 2024

Pictures: Will Broadhead / Blue Passion / HERO-ERA

In one of the toughest events in Le Jog’s 30 year history, just 27 of the 44 starting crews finished after the rally was bedevilled by snow, ice and driving rain. As a result just four gold medals and only three silvers were awarded and the event set such a standard for attrition that organiser HERO-ERA has decided to rest it for a year.

Le Jog (the Land’s End to John O’Groats Reliability Trial) was launched by John Brown in 1993 and for 2023 was a 1500-mile,75-hour end-to-end run from the most southerly tip of England to the northerly tip of Scotland from 2-5 December.

There are no outright winners, crews either achieve a medal or a blue riband, but gold medals are a huge honour, especially in a year when so few were achieved. Which only adds to the kudos for Andy Lane and Iain Tullie, whose gold in their BMW 2002 Tii took their tally to seven apiece to become the most highly decorated Joggers of all. Lane said: ‘This has been absolutely the toughest LeJog yet, I have never known anything like this!

Other gold medal winners were the German crew of Klaus Mueller and Eric Schwab in their Lancia Fulvia Coupé, with Klaus not only grabbing gold, but provisionally clinching the HERO Cup to become Drivers Champion for 2023.

Thomas Koerner achieved gold with Klaus Mueller’s regular navigator Rolf Pellini in his BMW 320/4, as did Stewart Christie and Andy Ballantyne who were mighty in their MG B GT throughout.

Silver medallists were Horst Pokroppa and Henrick Verspohl (MGA Coupé), Richard White and Bernard Northmore (Volvo Amazon) and Derek Hunnisett and Alan Pettit (Volvo 142).

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