The clas­sic Fords were fly­ing high — lit­er­ally — on the open­ing road of the this year’s cham­pi­onship.

Classic Ford - - CONTENTS - Words Paul Lawrence Pho­tos Mark Writ­tle Pho­to­graphic

All the ac­tion from Round One — the Epynt-based Red Kite Stages.

Round 1: Red Kite Stages, Fe­bru­ary 19

Nick El­liott and Dave Price (above) opened their bid for the 2017 Min­tex MSA Bri­tish His­toric Rally Cham­pi­onship in the best pos­si­ble style on the open­ing round, the Red Kite Stages.

The Chel­tenham Mk2 Es­cort crew fin­ished the day with a win­ning mar­gin of 35 sec­onds over de­fend­ing cham­pi­ons, Ja­son Pritchard and Phil Clarke af­ter 45-miles of clas­sic Welsh stages on the Llan­dovery-based event.

As the BHRC started its third sea­son un­der the man­age­ment of the Roger Al­bert Clark Rally Mo­tor Club, a top-qual­ity en­try de­liv­ered a tremen­dous spec­ta­cle over six stages, five on the gravel roads in the Epynt re­gion and one in Caeo for­est.

El­liott/Price won Cat­e­gory 3 while Pritchard/Clarke headed Cat­e­gory K at the start of what is likely to a fierce cham­pi­onship bat­tle. Joe Price/Chris Brooks should have made it a three-way lead con­test, but were forced out by diff fail­ure in the sec­ond stage. Other Cat­e­gory 3 class win­ners were Ben Friend/Cliffy Sim­mons (Mk2 Es­cort) in D3 and David Hop­kins/Tony Vart (Sun­beam Tal­bot) in D2.

Stan­ley Orr/Stephen McAu­ley set the early pace in the Cap­i­tal Con­struc­tion Cat­e­gory 2 as Orr stepped up to BDA power in his Mk1 Es­cort, but rear sus­pen­sion prob­lems that had dogged their progress fi­nally put them out in Crychan. In­stead, the cat­e­gory was a bat­tle of the Hill­man Avengers as El­liot Re­tal­lick/Tim Tug­well headed An­drew Stokes/Adrian McNally af­ter a day-long con­test. Si­mon Pick­er­ing and Paul Bar­bet (Mk1 Es­cort) were third and claimed class C3.

In the Vin­tage Car Ra­di­a­tor Com­pany Cat­e­gory 1, the Mini Cooper of Phil Har­ris/ Richard Suter saw off the Cortina GT of Mike Bar­ratt/Emily Re­tal­lick.

The Red Kite Stages was or­gan­ised by the Am­man and Dis­trict Mo­tor Club,­

Mike Bar­ratt’s Cortina takes time out on the way to sec­ond in Cat­e­gory 1.

Rudi Lan­caster and Guy Weaver tackle the no­to­ri­ous Epynt roads in their RS1800.

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