FURZE­LAND DOM­I­NATES IN DORSET

Motor Sport News - - Rally Reports - By Ian Har­den Re­sults Pho­tos: Paul Lawrence, Martin Walsh, Kevin Money

Tap­pin, Le Coadou and Andy Vey/ Richard Fletcher (Mit­subishi Lancer E4) fought hard over the other podium places while four crews dis­puted fifth place: Dar­ryl Mor­ris/steve Gully (Es­cort Mk2) held Tim and James Self (Im­preza S14) at bay by one se­cond, while Ge­off Ben­nett/john Bil­let (Es­cort) tied with James and Ben Har­vey (Im­preza).

Bov­ing­ton’s no­to­ri­ous track­side con­crete tank traps also claimed vic­tims among fron­trun­ners; se­cond seeds Ste­vie Leonard/sion Humphreys hit one on stage two, re­tir­ing their Es­cort im­me­di­ately.

Sun­day, day two, dawned bright and dry, mak­ing for a con­sis­tently high pace. “The stages are beau­ti­ful: the con­crete sur­face has so much grip but we need to keep the pres­sure on,” said Furze­land. Be­hind, the bat­tle for se­cond place in­ten­si­fied; Vey clung tena­ciously to se­cond but came close to disas­ter on stage nine. The Lancer E4 en­tered ser­vice trail­ing front and rear bodywork af­ter hit­ting a con­crete tank trap; Vey had to climb into the boot to ham­mer out a wing that was foul­ing a wheel. “We clouted the front and it swung the car round. At least we ended fac­ing the right way,” he joked ner­vously. His time loss moved Le Coadou up to se­cond but he also had prob­lems. Af­ter a wrong tyre choice on day one, his Corolla now had a prop­shaft vi­bra­tion.

Over the clos­ing miles Furze­land could not re­lax as Tap­pin went on a charge. He set equal fastest time on stage 11 but could not catch Le Coadou, even though the Corolla’s tyres went off badly on the last test.

Vey took a well-de­served fourth ahead of Har­vey, who bat­tled through the day with his nav­i­ga­tor suf­fer­ing from a bad head cold. Af­ter Self re­tired on stage seven and Ben­nett went two tests later, both with me­chan­i­cal is­sues, Mor­ris/gully fin­ished sixth and claimed the prize for top Jersey crew. Their Es­cort ben­e­fited from new tyres and brakes but, they said, they could have done with sev­eral ex­tra gears on the long straights.

Drive of the day came from Ben Parker/alf Chanter. The Honda Civic pair­ing used a com­pletely stan­dard en­gine and sur­vived break­ing their ex­haust – by clip­ping it on – on the penul­ti­mate stage to fin­ish ninth over­all and first front-wheel-drive car.

The R.A.C. His­toric As­phalt Cham­pi­onship got un­der­way for the first time at the Bov­ing­ton Stages, with Roger Mo­ran and Ash­ley Trim­ble es­tab­lish­ing a safe pace to take a com­fort­able win while oth­ers fell by the way­side. It was Mo­ran’s first run in the Es­cort Mk1.

Im­preza crew: rapid in Bov­ing­ton

Bov­ing­ton Stages

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