Richards lands rally sup­port

Kentish Express Ashford & District - - Sport All The Week’s Action... -

Bill Richards has se­cured a £20,000 spon­sor­ship deal to race in next year’s Monte Carlo Rally. It will the Ash­ford driver’s sixth ap­pear­ance in the fa­mous race, af­ter agree­ing a con­tract with Hert­ford­shire­based parts com­pany Mini Spares. Richards said: “I am do­ing all their test­ing for them and have just signed the deal which gives me full back­ing. “The en­try fee is £4,500 and the race is still su­per-pro­fes­sional. I have fin­ished three times be­fore and crashed twice.” Richards en­dured a frus­trat­ing time in the lat­est round of the Quaife Mo­tor­sport News Sa­loon Car Cham­pi­onship at Brands Hatch on Satur­day, when his Mini Club­man suf­fered an en­gine fail­ure on the first lap of qual­i­fy­ing. Mean­while, Sellindge’s Andy Ban­ham fin­ished 17th in the same event, in what proved to be the only race of the week­end. The sec­ond race on Sun­day was can­celled fol­low­ing an accident which dam­aged a bar­rier. Ban­ham said: “We were held in the assem­bly area for an hour be­fore the race was called off. “Qual­i­fy­ing was dif­fi­cult. We only had three laps be­fore the safety car came out, af­ter one of the cars caught fire and only had one more lap and I fin­ished 26th out of 44.”

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