Rallyers in their 70s Return to Racing

Bron Burrell is 72 years old. Her co-pilot, Tina Kerridge-Reynolds is 76 years old. The last time they rallied together was almost fifty years ago in an Austin Maxi, which they had nicknamed "Puff the Magic Dragon". This April the pair will be back on the trail together in their original car to tackle several rallies, including London-to-Lisbon.

Along with a third team member, Tish Ozanne, together they took part in the notoriously difficult 1970 Daily Mail World Rally Cup from London to Mexico. Out four Austin Maxi, only one crossed the finishing line. Puff the Magic Dragon was not one of them. Of of the other Maxi's to tap out before the end of the race was being driven by Prince Michael of Kent, who crashed it in South America.

Over 24 days the rally saw 240 professional drivers and amateurs cover 16,173 miles though 25 countries and a multitude of different conditions. It wasn't just the terrains that were treacherous. The three women refused guns offered to them by the organisers to protect themselves from bandits.

The past is a foreign land. Along with gun control, rallying conditions have become safer, shall we say. Speaking to the BBC about rallying conditions today, Burrell said, "It's a bit more controlled because of health and safety. You can't do what you used to do. We used to do rallies and have one night's sleep in five days." Blimey.

On their return from Argentina where the car had ended up in a ditch, the four went their separate ways, the Maxi too. Changing hands several times, it ended up in a shed in Huntingdon where Burrell found her in 2009. She decided that a car like that should be tackling rallies around the world rather than languishing in a state of disrepair and set about getting it in shape.

Speaking to the Telegraph about her age, the 72 year old said, "I’ve got my competition licence back and I’m ready to rock’n’roll." It's the need for speed that she has to check herself for, often finding herself driving faster than she should.

I can't wait to be 72.

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