Chepstow: Hawkwell Rally enters Wyedean Rally

The Hawkwell Rally Team of John Reed and Ian Clarke, members of the Ludlow Castle Motor Club are contesting the Sweet Lamb Welsh Clubman Championship in memory of John's 24 year old son Lee. Lee was tragically killed in a motor vehicle accident in...

The Hawkwell Rally Team of John Reed and Ian Clarke, members of the Ludlow Castle Motor Club are contesting the Sweet Lamb Welsh Clubman Championship in memory of John's 24 year old son Lee. Lee was tragically killed in a motor vehicle accident in Gloucestershire on the 8th December 2001. They are aiming to raise £10,000 for CLIC - Cancer & Leukaemia in Childhood.

The first event in the Championship is the Wyedean Forest Rally to be held in and around Chepstow Racecourse on Saturday 9th February. CLIC has also been adopted as the Rally's official charity.

Sixty year old John said "I was devastated by the loss of my son and best mate. He was everything to me and at the age of three I used to take him to rallies all over the country with his brother Dale. He loved the sport, and it seemed a natural progression that one-day he would take up rally driving."

Lee started his rally driving career in 1996 on the Wyedean rally in his father's blue 1976 Ford Escort 1600cc Lotus Twin cam but failed to finish due to a broken gearbox and diff. Not daunted by this they bought a new and better gearbox and diff, and used the remainder of the for year testing. Over that period he started to beat more powerful cars, and at the end of 1996 he showed that he could be sensational.

They bought the best engine, gearbox and axle that they could afford and entered the 1997 Wyedean rally. From stage one (Sallow Valets) Lee showed how good he was by beating the great Richard Gough in his Ex. Works 2Ltr BDA Mark 2 Escort by five seconds over six miles. The car finished the rally first in class (1600cc) and 44th o/a also picking up the best under 25 year old award, this was no mean achievement as he had beaten many top rally drivers with over twenty years in the sport.

Throughout l997 Lee recorded many outstanding class and overall positions, and was soon spotted by an international rally team and was offered the chance of a semi-works test drive, but had to find thirty thousand pounds to make this happen. Despite writing to many organisations they just could not raise the money. However, the Reed family decided to build a one hundred thousand pound 4x4 Ford Focus rally car, similar to his hero's Colin McRae. Unfortunately Lee died the week after seeing his dream car at Gary Midwinter's Active Motorsport workshop in Pershore.

John is extremely grateful for the support and encouragement in preparing Lee's cars provided by many firms including, M.Sport, Jeoff Dewitt Motorsport, Active Motorsport, Dave and Lee Kedward of Cheltenham and Phil and Mick Squires Rally Competition Equipment of Stoke-On-Trent.

Forest of Dean boy, Eddie Lee, aged 6 ½ met John, his crew and sponsors this weekend during part of the car's testing. Eddie has just finished his treatment for cancer and has recently started back at school. His mother, Mary said "without CLIC things would have been ten times worse whilst Eddie was undergoing treatment. Terrific support"

John Reed said "I am delighted to be working with CLIC to help raise funds and to see the smiles on the young children's faces. I would like to thank all the people who helped Lee with his dream and the sponsors of the car. Sheila & I would also like to thank everyone for their donations to CLIC and for all the comforting calls we have received at this sad time"

John's efforts are being supported by local and national businesses including The Dezac Group, Belfitts Coach Hire, Rob Morgan Electrics, Abbotts Tyre & Exhaust Centre, Jason Watts Carpentry, Keith Wilkes Artexing & Decorating Contractor, Designer Signs, Dave Pugh Autos. Lee's employers, Willowstone Garden Products of Longhope, have presented a perpetual memorial trophy to be competed for at the Wyedean Rally.

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About this article
Series Charity , Other rally
Drivers Colin McRae , Rob Morgan , Jason Watt , Gary Midwinter