‘Willett steals vic­tory as at­tri­tion hits’

Early leader Eng­land suf­fers brake is­sues in his Fi­esta as old ma­chine beats new

Motor Sport News - - Rally News - By Si­mon Gronow Re­sults Photos: EDP Photo News

Or­gan­iser: For­resters Car Club When: March 27 Where: Caer­went Train­ing Area Cham­pi­onships: WAMC J D Tyres Welsh Na­tional Tar­ma­cadam Cham­pi­onship; CMSG BP Mo­tors & Body­builders Stage Rally Cham­pi­onship Stages: 6 Starters: 55

Fol­low­ing a prob­lem­atic first few stages, which re­sulted in hav­ing to play sec­ond fid­dle to early leader Mar­tyn Eng­land, Dave Willett/john Davies got their act to­gether on the lat­ter stages to take an­other win at Caer­went in their Ford Es­cort Mk2.

Af­ter spin­ning twice on the first stage, Willett was ham­pered fur­ther when his Es­cort suf­fered a bad mis­fire, with the re­sult that Mar­tyn and Dawn Eng­land moved into the lead on the de­but of their new Ford Fi­esta R5 af­ter set­ting fastest time on the first two tests.

The Eng­lands con­tin­ued to lead un­til stage four, when brak­ing is­sues ap­par­ently re­sulted in a dam­aged com­pres­sion strut, which forced them out of the rally. With his en­gine back to full health, and with some good tyre choices in the mixed con­di­tions, Willett moved back into the lead, be­fore seal­ing his win af­ter set­ting fastest time – by a full 26 sec­onds – on the fi­nal wet test.

By then, Rob Tout and Phil Turner had re­tired their Mit­subishi Lancers, the for­mer hav­ing suf­fered sus­pen­sion prob­lems on his Lancer E10, and the lat­ter a dam­aged ra­di­a­tor on his E9.

Fastest time on stage three, Jeremy Straker/chris Thomp­son had moved to within a cou­ple of sec­onds of Willett, be­fore dam­ag­ing their rear sus­pen­sion on SS4, which blunted their chal­lenge, and they were forced to set­tle for the run­ner-up spot.

Carl O’grady ad­mit­ted to strug­gling in the wet con­di­tions, but he and Ian Davis held on to the fi­nal podium po­si­tion in their Nis­san Sunny F2, fin­ish­ing ahead of Ge­off Kit­ney/kath Cur­zon, who had a prob­lem-free run in their Mit­subishi.

Class win­ners Llyr Jones/ja­son Davies man­aged to fin­ish in fifth po­si­tion af­ter re­pair­ing a cou­ple of dam­aged four-link bars on their Ford Es­cort, as Oliver Hop­kins/ash­ley Trim­ble fin­ished sixth in their Lancer.

On their first Caer­went visit for five years, Christo­pher Grave­stock/mark Ham­mer held off the chal­lenge from John Ol­dreieve/nigel He­witt to win the 1600cc class in their Citroen C2 R2, with John and Gor­don Leigh close be­hind in their Vaux­hall Nova.

Round­ing off the top 10 were Wyn Owens/jenny Evans, who took a class win fol­low­ing a clean run in their Ford Es­cort. Also win­ning their re­spec­tive classes were for­mer Motoring News Road Rally reg­u­lars Neil Jones/alan Thomas in a Vaux­hall As­tra GTE, while Ja­son and El­speth Watkins won the 1400cc cat­e­gory in their Peu­geot 205.

Marshall & Hicks Tour of Caer­went

Willett scored an im­pres­sive win in Mk2

O’grady/davis: Third in Nis­san

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from UK

© PressReader. All rights reserved.