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Professional Rally Driver Tony Pond

Rally driver Tony Pond.

Rally driver Tony Pond (1945–2002) failed to add a success at the 1976 Caravan Club International Road Rally to his string of other achievements.

Best known for rallying with British Leyland and Rover to considerable success throughout the 1970s and 80s, Pond hitched up a caravan in 1976 and headed to the Silverstone circuit. Before the event he admitted to having ‘never driven a car with anything hitched to it, let alone a caravan’, which made the Caravan Road Rally a learning curve for this experienced driver.

Determined to win the rally, Pond practiced in Yorkshire before setting off for the main event. With a modified ABI caravan and Triumph 2500 motor car he soon discovered he could reach 90mph/144.84kph comfortably as long as he could ‘ignore this great big swaying beast peering in through your back window’.

There was a fierce battle for the top spot between the rally drivers Tony Pond and Dan Grewer until both competitors clipped a log pile. Each incurred a 30–minute penalty for damage to the vans leaving Pond trailing in joint 35th place. Lyle Cathcart, the overall winner of the event proved beyond all doubt that driving skill combined with towing experience was the key to Caravan Road Rally success.

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