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Motor Sport News - - Rally Reports - By Ian Har­den Re­sults

Or­gan­iser: South­sea Mo­tor Club and Bog­nor Regis Mo­tor Club. When: Fe­bru­ary 13. Where: Good­wood Cir­cuit, Sus­sex. Cham­pi­onships: Hamil­ton Clas­sic ACSMC, Jelf Mo­tor­sport ASEMC/ AEMC. Starters: 55. Stages: 9.

Ex­tra trac­tion from four-wheel drive proved the key to suc­cess for Subaru Im­preza driver John­nie El­lis, as he and co-driver Marc Fowler over­came con­stantly chang­ing con­di­tions to take a 29s vic­tory over Paul King/ali­cia Miles’ Ford Es­cort Mk2.

King led the field away, wheel­spin­ning into the morn­ing murk as his Es­cort fought for grip on the wet track. Stu­art and Si­mon Lar­bey (Im­preza) took the early lead but slowed on sub­se­quent stages, drop­ping out of the top 10. This left new leader El­lis chal­lenged by King for top spot, with a sep­a­rate scrap for third be­tween Steven Toney, Tim Mewett and Liz Jor­dan (Es­cort Mk2) and Christo­pher and An­thony New­ton (Vaux­hall Nova). Slightly be­hind, a three-way tus­sle for fifth raged be­tween Ian Huck­le­bridge/ Sam Cox, Stu­art Cog­ger/ade Sum­mers (both Es­corts) and Alex Cannon/ Ray Keith (Im­preza).

Af­ter four tests, the track dried in patches, mak­ing cor­rect tyre choice crit­i­cal. El­lis clung tena­ciously to the lead, re­port­ing no me­chan­i­cal prob­lems but “sev­eral wild mo­ments” on patches of air­craft fuel, seep­ing onto the track from the ad­ja­cent air­field.

King’s Es­cort ex­uded a pow­er­ful smell of hot brakes, tes­ta­ment to his ef­forts to chase down his ri­val. “We’re on wet tyres, and they’ve worked well so far. But the track’s dry­ing so I think we will change to in­ter­me­di­ates,” he said.

Toney held third, pro­moted af­ter Mewett re­tired with a blown en­gine. But he was pres­sured by New­ton who, de­spite re­port­ing nu­mer­ous side­ways mo­ments on the slip­pery sur­face was look­ing to equal or bet­ter his 2015 third place.

Due to time con­straints stage five was can­celled but on the next run, El­lis came close to disas­ter. He col­lided heav­ily with a baled chi­cane, dam­ag­ing the Im­preza’s front end. For­tu­nately he lost min­i­mal time and his me­chan­ics re­paired the Subaru with tape and plas­tic straps. They painted ‘Ouch’ on the re­pair, while El­lis and Fowler jok­ingly blamed each other for the near-miss. This was the duo’s last drama and, when the rain re­turned for the fi­nal, dark, stages they set a brace of fastest times to con­sol­i­date vic­tory.

King’s mid-rally tyre change reaped re­wards as he took run­ner-up spot, and liv­ing lo­cally al­lowed him to send his ser­vice crew home to fetch spot­lights for the late stages. “I sim­ply for­got the rally fin­ishes in the dark,” he said.

Toney’s all-day high pace was re­warded with third, while fel­low Isle of Wight duo, Richard Weaver/james Pink (Es­cort Mk1) over­hauled New­ton for fourth by one se­cond thanks to storm­ing runs on stages seven and eight. A three-way bat­tle for sixth place was re­solved in favour of Huck­le­bridge and first-time co-driver Cox, ahead of Cog­ger and Kevin/lee Jones, whose mis­fir­ing Fer­rari 308 also won the His­toric class.

Jerome Fack won his first BTRDA Sport­ing Trial in the open­ing round of the Bri­tish cham­pi­onship on Sun­day at the Ge­off Tay­lor Trial. He took the pres­ti­gious Clee Hills tro­phy with his daugh­ter Jess pas­sen­ger­ing.

Ha­gley and District Light Car Club had found a new venue at Build­was Leisure 4x4 Out­door Cen­tre near Iron­bridge to test the 29 crews. Jerome Fack’s iden­ti­cal twin brother and mul­ti­ple ex-bri­tish cham­pion John took the early lead in his MSR to lead at lunch by two points from Jerome.

Alas­tair Mof­fatt had pur­chased Richard Robarts’ RB7 last week and rev­elled in it to hold third place at lunch. How­ever, a cou­ple of tough start hills soon dented his chal­lenge to slide back to ninth in the car he used alongsied his­toric ral­ly­ing co-driv­ing ace Phil Clarke.

Jerome Fack’s tidy fi­nal round helped him take a very pop­u­lar win af­ter 15 years of try­ing. Fel­low Cor­nish­man Alan Ede had a good morn­ing but put in a stun­ning af­ter­noon to climb up to se­cond over­all. He also won the novice class in his live axle Kin­craft. Josh Veale tied with Ede and com­pleted the podium.

Bryan Walker had a steady drive to fourth and fourth dif­fer­ent car ahead of John Fack, who tied with Andy Wilks. Steve Courts fin­ished in sev­enth and se­cond in the in­ter­me­di­ate class af­ter Jerome Fack’s win. Fresh from his Gold Star win last month, Ian Veale could only man­age 15th.

Guy Foster led the Mon­aghan Au­totest for most of the 12 tests, tak­ing a 17-se­cond win over Steven Fer­gu­son. How­ever, on a drama­packed day, se­cond place was enough for the Ste­wart­stown driver to clinch his sixth Hewi­son ti­tle in a row, equalling the record of Ed­die Peter­son. Fer­gu­son’s only cham­pi­onship ri­val, Robin Lyons, re­tired with a bro­ken out­put shaft, leav­ing Fer­gu­son to chase Foster un­til he too suf­fered a trans­mis­sion break­age on the 10th of 12 tests. His ser­vice crew car­ried out a com­plete en­gine/gear­box unit trans­plant, al­low­ing him to com­plete the re­main­ing two tests and take the ti­tle again.

BTRDA Feb 14 Build­was Leisure 4x4 Out­door Cen­tre, Iron­bridge 1 Jerome Fack (MSR) 18 marks; 2 Alan Ede (Kin­craft) 23 marks; 3 Josh Veale (Sherpa); 4 Bryan Walker (Jedi); 5 John Fack (MSR); 6 Andy Wilks (RCAP); 7 Steve Courts (Fack­sim­ile); 8 Peter Fen­som (Hamil­ton); 9 Alas­tair Mof­fatt (RB7); 10 Boyd Web­ster (Crossle).

El­lis avoided late off to take vic­tory Mis­fire didn’t stop the Jones’ Mich­e­lotto from land­ing his­torics

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