Bringing up the rear of this year's LeJog are two hardtop pickups. These vehicles are a common sight on most HERO organised events and just another example of the forward thinking of the man who founded HERO (Historic Endurance Rallying Organisation) in 1996, John Brown. Sadly, he passed away just four weeks ago but left behind an organisation which now manages a variety of supremely well organised endurance events right across the globe.
He was the right man with the right idea at the right time and organised the first Land's End to John O'Groats Classic Reliability Trial in 1993. His background was in rally co-driving and rally organisation and he co-drove for such luminaries as Erik Carlsson and Colin Malkin but perhaps best known for his partnership with Russell Brookes. As far as rally organisation is concerned he was credited with the invention of Targa Timing for rallies and was involved in the first closed road rally on the Isle of Man.
It was that sort of mind that he brought to HERO, now regarded as one of the best (if not THE best) classic endurance rally clubs in the world and the attention to detail is evident in the paperwork and the running of each event.
That includes the sweeper teams, two teams of two mechanics in a pickup loaded up with fuses, bulbs, jubilee clips, bits of hose, piping, lengths of wire, switches, pumps, tape and tie-wraps, jacks, pumps and tyre levers, and goodness knows how many other bits and pieces all in the attempt to keep everyone who started each rally in it till the end. Classic rally cars can carry only so many spares so the pickups provide a vital emergency support service and a welcome sight to a rally crew stranded in the dark, in the cold, on a deserted road in the middle of nowhere.