Region 13 Gallery
2019 was the sixth year of running The Secret Hills Tour for Region 13
PCGB Region 13
The Secret Hills Tour
2019 was the sixth year of running The Secret Hills Tour for Region 13. The first year that we organised the event we had 15 entries and over the years it has grown to 50 with a reserve list.
The Secret Hills Tour was always intended to be a fun drive for both driver and passenger(s), and in keeping with its title, we wanted to keep the route within the scenic hills of the Welsh Marches bordering Shropshire and Wales. This area also happens to be within relatively easy reach of the majority of Region 13 members.
For the first four years the format consisted of an 80mile morning route with a lunch stop at a pleasant hostelry, followed by a 40mile afternoon route finishing at a convenient afternoon tea location. As this format lead to a rather rushed lunch, it was decided to change the format to a lengthened morning run of up to 120 miles finishing at a suitable lunch stop. This allowed for a much more leisurely lunch stop with time for plenty of socializing over lunch. And, of course it is obligatory in Region 13 to have a quiz at some point during the day and this latter format helps in this respect.
In order to make sure that all entrants follow the prescribed route, a Road Book is produced for each entrant that defines the route by a series of diagrams of the road junctions showing the direction the entrant must take. The Road Book also includes the distances between each of these junctions.
The route planning starts anytime from the finish of the previous year up to twelve weeks prior to the event. To some extent, the route is controlled by where the organisers plan to have the start and finish venues, which in the case of The Secret Hills Tour must be able to park 50 Porsches and feed approximately 100+ people. During the course of deciding on a route there will be a lot of studying a map and several days out exploring potential roads, making sure that they are Porsche friendly. Once the overall route is selected then anything up to 3 passes over the route are required to make sure that the Road Book is correct and everyone will take the right route between the start and finish points.
In order to run such an event it is necessary to apply for a Permit from Motorsport UK (the official body authorized by the Government to control all motor sport within the UK). The Secret Hills Tour does not involve any timing of competitors, checking in at check points other than the lunch and finish points, navigational tasks or clue solving and as such comes under the category of a Touring Assembly. It is only necessary therefore to apply for what is called a Certificate of Exemption and this has to be done at least twelve weeks prior to the event. Once the route is finalized, it has to be sent to the Route Liaison Officer appointed by Motorsport UK for the area in which the Tour is taking place. After the RLO has checked that we are not clashing route wise with any other event on that date, and we are not travelling through any public relations hot spots, approval is given and the Police for the relevant areas have to notified. Assuming everyone is happy then the event is good to go.
All the organisers have to do now is notify all of the Region members, send out the regulations and entry forms with menu choices for the lunch, and then sit back and wait for the entries to come in. The lunch stop venue require everyone’s menu choices to be submitted 7 days prior and this all sounds pretty straight forward, which it is, unless entrants drop out at the last minute and new entrants from the reserve list need to be notified with their details obtained and passed to everyone involved in the event.
It is now in the lap of the gods as to whether the sun shines and everyone has an enjoyable day.
Written by Patrick
Many thanks to Patrick and Sylvia for all the organisation and Phil for looking after the administration.