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