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The DROC Weekend Extravaganza!
4th & 5th May 2002

What an excellent and well-organised weekend we had! The inaugural Dax Rush Owners Club weekend extravaganza took place in the East Midlands over Saturday 4th and Sunday 5th May 2002, leading smoothly into the nearby Stoneleigh Kit Car show.

Rushes in a convoyAs DROC members were coming from all over the country, Richard Pope had organised a series of meeting points in various locations. I was coming from Sheffield, via Nottingham to pick up Richard's son Shane from college, so we started at the Southbound Leicester Forest East services on the M1. Richard had arranged a navigation rally over four stages, leading to a final rendez-vous at the mystery hotel.

The stage clues were by turns cryptic and intentionally abstract. There were a few brain-teasers and some serious head-scratching by the side of the road on more than one occasion! Everyone was provided with a panic envelope however, in case of terminal navigational challenge! The routes (very few cars followed the same course) had us driving through a mixture of roads large and small, over much of the East Midlands, gradually homing in on Leamington Spa, where eventually we all met at the Marriot Courtyard hotel.

Hotel carpark

Commiserations to Chris and Susan Brice, who suffered a puncture on their brand-new Rush but managed to find a replacement in time to finish the rally and make it to the hotel.

The hotel had arranged reserved parking under the CCTV cameras so we all parked up with a feeling of security and went for a well-deserved drink. Another Well Done to Richard for finding us such a luxurious and accommodating hotel!

Hotel carpark

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Drinks in the bar were followed by dinner, where we took over almost all of the restaurant.

Kev Pearce does his Tommy Cooper impression for Kerry and Mike Prince (that is Mike, isn't it?)

Dinner at the Courtyard hotel

Dinner was a very convivial affair, with Richard's Dax Trivia quiz being a very entertaining highpoint. DJ Sportscars contributed to the occasion by providing vouchers (to be spent at the Dax parts counter!) for the first, second and third places. Ash Trowe won the quiz, followed closely by Steve and Maria Mellor. Richard justly got the round of appreciation that he richly deserved for organising the whole thing virtually single-handed. Well done Dave Cawood for leading the vote of thanks - you beat me to it by 5 seconds! Drinking continued well into the small hours, accompanied by much gossip amd friendly banter.

Click here to see the quiz questions and answers.

Ash Trowe wins the quiz and gets his prize

On the starting gridFull chatFor those who were not too much the worse for wear the next day, there was go-karting only a few miles away. Twenty one Rush drivers and passengers took part in the Grand Prix, leading to a 12-lap final between Mike Price, Mark and John Fitzsimmons, Shane Pope, Trev Riddell and Bob Green. The old Red Mist descended and much adrenaline rushed (!). After a fiercely-contended set of races, Mike Prince took the chequered flag, followed by the son and father team of Mark and John Fitzsimmons.

The final

All three leading drivers took home a naff plastic trophy and Mike got to spray Chateau Draincleaner on everyone in sight!

A relatively gentle convoy ensued, via a fuel stop, to the Stoneleigh Kit Car show.


Mike "Schumey" Prince goes largeThe victors

Convoy of Rushes

Up to a dozen Rushes in line astern proceeded to the show. I don't think I've ever seen so many Dax Rushes together on the road, so a few photos seemed to be in order.

Dave Hodges in fine spirit

Dave Hodges and son in their Rush ZetecMike Prince and his CosworthThe Fitzsimmons RushAsh Trowe's V8, practice-loaded for Le Mans!

Richard Pope leads the convoy in his Pinto RushDuncan disappears into the distanceWhich way now?Mark and John Fitzsimmons

Click here to go on to the Stoneleigh show.

Pictures by Duncan Hurst, Ash Trowe and Chris Brice.