DOWN THE WITH JA­SON PRITCHARD Mike and An­drew will drive to­gether in Good­wood fea­ture event

Motor Sport News - - Historics - By Paul Lawrence Monte Carlo His­torique, p25 Pho­tos: Jakob Ebrey and Paul Lawrence

“It’s a per­fect start to the sea­son. We aimed to do it but the com­pe­ti­tion is very tough so to come away from the Red Kite with max­i­mum points is per­fect. We did the same last year but the con­di­tions were very dif­fer­ent and to­day was more down to pace whereas last year it was more down to the ice and snow and what tyres you had and things like road po­si­tion.”

The fog was tough “I’d only ever been across Route 60 once be­fore and that’s the sort of stage where you can make up a lot of time if you know it. But in the fog it was re­ally a case of com­mit­ting to the notes. You re­ally couldn’t see very much at all. At the start of the stage my co-driver Phil Clarke and I had a laugh and said that if I lifted be­tween one par­tic­u­lar cor­ner and the fin­ish he could tell me off. But in those con­di­tions you had to lift a lit­tle bit. Phil was spot on again; there’s no drama there and I trust him 100 per cent.”

He had a cush­ion for the fi­nal stage “The se­cond pass of the stages was very tough and so we were quite lucky to have a 28s lead go­ing into the last stage in Caio. We were able to take it a bit easy and try and not get a punc­ture and pick our way through, rather than have to at­tack.”

The tar­get is the BHRC crown “The aim is to win the MSA Bri­tish His­toric Rally Cham­pi­onship again. Only David Stokes has won backto-back BHRC ti­tles so far. So it would be very nice to be in that com­pany. That’s our first tar­get and then we’ll do the Manx Na­tional again in the Ford Fo­cus World Rally Car.”

It is a fam­ily team “My dad Eian is go­ing to do some of the new R.A.C. As­phalt Cham­pi­onship in the other Es­cort Mk2 we have. That’s the one I rolled on the Roger Al­bert Clark Rally a cou­ple of years ago but it’s now im­mac­u­late again and all ready to go in as­phalt spec­i­fi­ca­tion. It’s nice that there are a few events that we can both do. I’ve told him he can have my se­cond hand tyres.”


An in­ci­dent packed Rali

was won by John Davies/aled Richards, who emerged from a tight tus­sle for the lead as many of their ri­vals hit prob­lems.

Ir­fon Richards/ Max Free­man held a 40-se­cond lead at Petrol but soon af­ter the restart they lost over three min­utes when they hit stand­ing wa­ter and lost their electrics. They con­tin­ued to the Fin­ish and would have been clas­si­fied fourth but were ex­cluded for a give way of­fence.

Davies/ Richards had been in se­cond at the half­way point but had Dale Fur­niss/ Nick Blox­ham just one se­cond be­hind. The lat­ter crew were de­layed in the se­cond half, ini­tially by a rear caliper prob­lem and then by a bro­ken gear­box mount­ing. They sur­vived and would have taken sixth but for a wrong ap­proach at a PC, the re­sul­tant fail dropped them fur­ther down the or­der.

Th­ese dra­mas meant that the bat­tle for first place was be­tween the win­ners and last year’s vic­tors, St­ef­fan ‘DR’ Davies/justin Davies. The lat­ter crew re­duced their half­way deficit slightly but were still 30 sec­onds be­hind at the Fin­ish. How­ever the re­sult was enough to give St­ef­fan ‘DR’ the lead in the Welsh Cham­pi­onship.

De­fend­ing Welsh Cham­pi­ons Ian ‘Dude’ Roberts/gwawr Hughes were de­layed by a mis­fire in the first half but fin­ished fourth.

He took the open­ing win Cortina to Race Retro

Pritchard: his­toric rally ace

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