Le Coadou and Sorensen see off Eng­land duo af­ter dra­matic last stage fi­nale

Corinium Stages

Motor Sport News - - Rally Report - By Ian Har­den

Or­gan­iser: Cirences­ter Car Club When: April 30 Where: Amp­ney air­field, Wilt­shire Cham­pi­onships: Hamil­ton Clas­sics ACSMC; Subaru WRC Spares ASWMC Sealed Sur­face; CMSG Starters: 75 Stages: 8

An early tyre gam­ble proved key for Gary Le Coadou and co-driver Carl Sorensen (Toy­ota Corolla WRC) as they took a third con­sec­u­tive Corinium Stages win, fol­low­ing a close bat­tle with Mar­tyn and Dawn Eng­land (Ford Fi­esta R5). Ex­actly as in 2015, the re­sult was in doubt un­til the fi­nal test, when Eng­land lost time with a spin that ul­ti­mately cost vic­tory.

Le Coadou chanced his arm in se­lect­ing ‘su­per­soft’ tyres to start the day; but the gam­ble worked and he took the lead, ex­tend­ing it to nine sec­onds af­ter four stages. Eng­land,

Le Coadou took early tyre gam­ble that paid off for an­other win still get­ting used to his new left-hand-drive ma­chine chased the Toy­ota hard and opened a 24s gap over third-placed Chris Simmons/andy Moss (Dar­rian T9 GTR). Tim Self/nick Vig­ors (Subaru Im­preza S14), Dave Par­nell/pete Bold (Ford Es­cort Mk1) and Chris and Me­gan Do­dridge (Im­preza WRC) hotly dis­puted fourth.

Down Amp­ney’s abra­sive sur­face even­tu­ally de­stroyed Le Coadou’s tyres but with harder com­pound cov­ers fit­ted he held top spot, helped when Eng­land lost time af­ter col­lid­ing with de­bris from a wrecked chi­cane on stage five. A heavy down­pour of sleet on the fi­nal stage made the sur­face treach­er­ous but Le Coadou set fastest time to clinch a 48s vic­tory, while Eng­land’s spin and stall proved costly.

Self took third on stage six when Simmons re­tired with a bro­ken diff and Do­dridge dropped out of the top 10 with me­chan­i­cal prob­lems. Par­nell thus claimed fourth, hold­ing off the Im­prezas of James Harvey/paul Price and Peter Self/mike Grey by three and six sec­onds re­spec­tively.

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