F1 presenter Tony Jardine to try Europe's toughest classic rally
1500 miles, four days, Lands End to John O'Groats... Will he survive his first ever historic rally?
Tony Jardine, the well-known F1 presenter, is to take part in one of the toughest events in the historic rallying world, Le Jog, from Lands’ End to John O’Groats, from 9-12 December.
Tony will join 60 other rally crews from around the world in HERO Events' gruelling 1500-mile, four-day challenge, which tests participants on exhausting driving tests and navigation challenges.
Le Jog teams have to reach check points at a precise time over a route that criss-crosses the UK several times using demanding roads, often in the dead of night. The cars and crews competing range from a 1957 MGA from Germany to a 1985 Saab 900 Turbo from Switzerland, while there are also entries from Australia, Canada and the United States of America.
To add to the challenge, the route isn't disclosed until the day before the start.
Tony's choice of car for Le Jog is the rally-prepared 1970 BMW 1602 from HERO Events' Arrive and Drive fleet, from which participants can hire rally cars rather than using their own cars if they wish.
Tony's navigator in the BMW will be Yorkshire’s Nick Cooper, a historic rally specialist, with a host of strong results behind him. He's also had training from Seren Whyte, one half of the popular Whyte sisters rally duo, seen in this video.
'This will be a very different "in-at-the-deep-end" challenge,' says Tony, 'the toughest classic road rally in Europe and a totally different motorsport discipline for me, run to the original rallying format.
'I have followed Le Jog on the HERO Events website before and winced at the appalling conditions, with never-ending tests over four days and nights. Despite its gruelling look, I quietly nurtured the intent to compete one year. Thanks to Patrick Burke and the HERO team my chance has come earlier than expected – although I’m not sure I’m grateful yet!
'I’m relishing trying to learn the art of precision driving, while attempting to play the long game. My goal is to finish, which looking at Le Jog will be an achievement in itself! The last 28 hours are almost non-stop through Scotland, in potentially adverse conditions, so I am expecting fatigue and sleep deprivation to affect me like never before.
'I’ve competed in 24 hour races, seven Arctic rallies and numerous Camel Trophy adventures, in jungles and across deserts, but Le Jog is set to be the toughest test for me so far!'
Patrick Burke, HERO Events managing director added: 'We’re delighted to welcome Tony to compete on Le Jog. It’s an incredibly tough event that is sure to challenge his vast experience in motorsport. We have many crews that come back year on year to compete on the event. It becomes an addiction to try and beat the roads, weather and fatigue that combine to make this a challenge of epic proportions in a modern car, let alone something that has no power steering and a rudimentary heater at the best!'
You can follow Tony's progress on the HERO Events website.
See more on HERO on our own Motorsport TV channel here