Clas­sic for­est stages at night — the fi­nal round had all this and more.

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It’s Round 8 and the Track­rod His­toric rally as the Es­corts and Corti­nas take to the forests.

Round 8: Track­rod His­toric Cup, 30 Septem­ber-1 Oc­to­ber

Ja­son Pritchard and Phil Clarke won the 2016 Min­tex MSA Bri­tish His­toric Rally Cham­pi­onship with a steady run through the York­shire forests on the Track­rod His­toric Cup.

While Steve Ben­nett and Paul Spooner were top BHRC fin­ish­ers af­ter 55 fast stage miles in warm sun­shine, Pritchard and Clarke did more than enough to be­come only the sec­ond crew to re­tain the BHRC crown.

The rally started with a 10-mile stage through Dalby in the dark of Fri­day evening and con­tin­ued with five more clas­sic York­shire stages on Satur­day, in­clud­ing the 13-mile Lang­dale test. Know­ing that they only had to fin­ish the rally to re­tain their BHRC ti­tle, Pritchard and Clarke turned in a con­trolled per­for­mance to win the Holton Homes Cat­e­gory K af­ter a trou­ble-free rally. “It was hard to con­cen­trate, but we did what mat­tered,” said Pritchard, who had spent the rally lis­ten­ing to ev­ery noise from the car. How­ever, the Ford Es­cort Mk2 ran fault­lessly and their mea­sured pace was still good enough for third among the BHRC con­tenders.

With Pritchard out of the reckoning for BHRC victory, it was Steve Ben­nett and Paul Spooner who took over as lead­ing BHRC crew to give Ben­nett his first cham­pi­onship win. How­ever, there was a scare over the fi­nal two stages in Crop­ton and Gale Rigg. “It didn’t want to go into first gear at the stage starts,” said Ben­nett. “But once it did go in, it was fine.” They also won the RSR His­toric En­gi­neer­ing Cat­e­gory 3.

In class D3, for the Pinto-pow­ered Mk2 Es­corts, Shawn Rayner and De­clan Dear clinched the BHRC class ti­tle af­ter a ma­jor bat­tle with ri­vals and friends Ben Friend and Cliffy Sim­mons. Friend chased hard but two spins in Dalby on Satur­day took the edge off his chal­lenge. Mean­while, Chris Skill and Tom Jordan again topped class D2 in their 1600cc Es­cort, but two min­utes in a ditch in Gale Rigg cost them what would have been a fab­u­lous sixth over­all in the his­toric field.

One of the drives of the rally came from Adam Mil­ner and Roy Jarvis in their Cross­flow-en­gined Mk1 Es­cort. Their pace in the un­der-pow­ered car was noth­ing short of sen­sa­tional and they were sec­ond among the BHRC con­tenders as they won the Cap­i­tal Con­struc­tion Cat­e­gory 2. That was prob­a­bly the first time that a 1600cc car has won Cat­e­gory 2 on a BHRC round.

War­ren Philliskirk and Nigel Hutchin­son had a scare with fuel vapouri­sa­tion early in Dalby on Satur­day af­ter a de­lay at the stage start, but oth­er­wise had a very good day on home ground.

In the Vin­tage Car Ra­di­a­tor Com­pany Cat­e­gory 1, Bob Bean and co-driver Cap­tain Thomp­son brought the ven­er­a­ble Lo­tus Cortina home well clear of the punc­ture-de­layed Mini Cooper of Phil Har­ris and Paul Ken­drick.

The Track­rod His­toric Cup was or­gan­ised by the Track­rod Mo­tor Club,

Ben Friend and Cliffy Sim­mons bat­tled hard for class D3 in their Pin­topow­ered Mk2 Es­cort.

Bob Bean and the im­pres­sively-named Cap­tain Thomp­son took Cat­e­gory 1 vic­tory in the Lo­tus Cortina.

Steve Ben­nett and Paul Spooner were high­est-placed BHRC con­tenders on the Track­rod His­toric.

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