Shocked and saddened
I have only just heard the tragic news that Mark Lovell and Roger Freeman have been taken from us. I cannot claim any friendship with them nor even to have met them, but I am still deeply saddened. As a rally-mad teenage boy from mid Wales I was outraged at the banning of Group B when cars such as the 6R4 and RS200 were just starting to get to a position of winning rallies. It was therefore a great joy to watch the British Rally Championship in 1986 and watch Mark and Roger show what potential the RS200 had and how spectacular it was in the right hands. I must admit I thought Mark and Roger had retired from active competition. It was only when surfing the TV channels in a hotel room in Michigan two months ago did I realise they were still very much in business. The ESPN coverage showed a number of classes competing on Pikes Peak, including pick-up trucks and big-rigs. I was shouting at the TV, "why don't you have some proper cars?" Then the SCCA ProRally series came on. Excellent. Better still my old heros Mark and Roger were competing. Amazing. And then they go and win it. Fantastic ! Others are in a better position than me to testify to the character of these men. From one humble rally fan all I can say is that you brought joy and excitement to many, and you will be missed.
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