FRASER STEERS V6 DARRIAN TO HORIBA HONOURS
Horiba D’isis Stages
Organiser: Quinton Motor Club When: April 23 Where: MIRA, Leicestershire Championships: AWMMC Heart of England; ANWCC; AEMC/ASEMC; EMAMC Stages: 8 Starters: 75
Andy Fraser repeated his 2014 victory by bringing his Darrian T9 V6 home well clear of Tommy Morris and Colin Harkness’ Metro 6R4 to win the Horiba D’isis Stages at MIRA. Fraser had led from the second stage and gave co-driver Michael Calvert his first rally win.
Gary and Gordon Adam’s Ford Escort had a three-second lead on the opening stage, as Fraser shared second with Ian and Stephen Woodhouse’s Escort, despite having overfilled the Darrian with oil and breaking an exhaust spring.
Morris also had trouble on the opener when he broke a driveshaft and had a rear puncture, but was still fourth best, 10s down on third, but 10s up on Martin Hodgson/tony Jones’ Ford Escort.
Both Fraser and Woodhouse outpaced Adam on stage two and demoted him to third, but Fraser had broken a damper, which he was only able to repair with the help of rival drivers.
While Fraser continued to consolidate his lead over the next two stages, Woodhouse went out on stage four with a bent axle having just made it into second. Adam retook the place, with Morris into third, even though he had to change the diff after a “rumble” on stage four.
Fraser continued to increase his advantage and by the end of stage five was 33 seconds up on Adam, and Adam had increased his cushion over Morris too. Hodgson was next to join the retirements with a maximum on the sixth stage, vacating fourth with electrical problems.
Further dramas soon followed. Adam explained: “I was one mile from the end of the last stage and the diff broke. I was going through a twisty bit and then put the power on and it went.”
The final stage wasn’t without drama for Fraser either. “I had eased off and was short shifting, then hit a barrier as I lost concentration,” he said.
He survived to take victory with Morris a clear second, but a storming drive from Chris Woodhouse/rachel Inns gave their Darrian T90 a late third.
“We had done a lot of work on the car since we won at Down Ampney, including a new fuel system,” he added.
John Marshall/scott Crawford’s Subaru Impreza was fourth.
More than half of the top 10 were battling for the Class C spoils. Alistair Hutchinson/st John Dykes’ Renault Clio led initially, before Chris Woodhouse’s Darrian took charge. Having ended stage three tied with Hutchinson, Mike English/andy Robinson’s Escort went on to secure second in class from stage four, with Hutchinson just keeping Julian Jones/ Mikey Herritts’ Escort at bay for third.
Jonathan Hudson/adi Collins’ Suzuki Swift topped Class A after Andrew Egger/val Thompson and Ian and Sarah Hambleton retired their Vauxhall Nova and Peugeot 106 after three stages with gearbox and engine maladies respectively. James Watts/aston Cox were second in their VW Polo. Adrian Mayall/robert Hayden’s Alfa Romeo 33 snatched third on the last stage from Trevor Jones/steven Bulloss’s Rover Metro GTI.
In Class B, Howard Potter/martin Haggett’s Talbot Sunbeam led, taking the spoils by over a minute from Ben and Andrew Wilkinson’s Peugeot 106.
Below is the map co-drivers receive at signingon for the Lee Holland Memorial The splits are labelled one, twoand Rally. three referencing thelap number that should be taken. The tricky direction part is remembering how many times SS3 and SS4 poses you have passed it. an almost unique challenge compared events as splits to most other single- usually go left-left- venue right orright-right-left.the split to the of the map goes left-right-left, furthest left increasing the time between the splits of forgetting the next and likelihood direction. Co- drivers usually use a an ‘x’ in thebox boxsystem, where you put each timeyou pass a split. The merges are anothersingle-venue delicacy, where cars can be coming inside oroutside of the track from the as you pass. Therefore, a co-driver the road is clear also must make sure as cars mergeon the track. ● Thank you to Garstang and Preston and Pendle and District Motor Clubs help and to Alan Shaw for the for their original maps.
Fraser/calvert on top at MIRA