SUBARU CREW TRIUMPHS
Organiser: EMCOS When: May 28 Where: Down Ampney Airfield, Gloucestershire Championships: AWMMC Heart of England; Cotswold MSG; HRCR Old Stager Historic Stages: 8 Starters: 74
Harry Gardner and Elliot Graham may have taken the victory spoils, but their winning drive was overshadowed by a stunning effort from Josh Payton/marcus Mizen who recovered from a first-stage maximum to take second place.
Gardner’s Impreza led from the start but had the Simon Mansell/martyn Bouchier Ford Escort Mk4 close behind for the first half of the day.
Gardner’s lead had grown to five seconds when Mansell retired, which left Glyn Cartwright/adam Wilks (Escort) to head the chase, having trailed the leading crews from the start.
By the end of stage four the gap was almost two minutes, but closing rapidly had come Payton, recovering from a wrong slot on the first stage. He was ninth after four stages, but his pace was relentless and a stage later he was only three seconds off Peter Hedges/marcus Strickland’s Mitsubishi Lancer E6 for third.
He took the place on the following run and after ousting Cartwright on the penultimate stage, he was a safe second but two minutes adrift of Gardner’s winning time having been three minutes and six seconds behind Gardner after stage one.
Cartwright and Hedges retained third and fourth. Ben Williams/andrew Wooldridge’s Mitsubishi E6 and Paul Baile/loic Ditchburn’s Impreza completed the top six.
Nige and Karen Jenkins’ Vauxhall Nova topped class A, taking victory by well over three minutes from Adrian Mayall/rob Hayden’s Alfa Romeo 33.
Scott Barnes/bill Paynter’s Peugeot 106 Rallye was as high as fifth overall in the early stages, but despite two consecutive stage maximums they still topped class B from Special Stage TV cameraman Luke Harvey – on his rally debut – with Paul Coleman co-driving.
Payton headed Cartwright and Dean Baker/andy Falconer’s Escort in class C and Roger Titley/chris Page’s BMW 323 headed home Chris White/graham Capper’s Talbot Sunbeam Lotus. Kevin/ Lee Jones’ group 4 Ferrari 308 was the best of a healthy historic field. Results 1 Harry Gardner/ Elliot Graham (Subaru Impreza) 1h05m14s; 2 Josh Payton/ Marcus Mizen (Ford Escort Mk2) +2m18s; 3 Glyn Cartwright/adam Wilks (Escort Mk2); 4 Peter Hedges/ Marcus Strickland (Mitsubishi Lancer E6); 5 Ben Williams/andrew Wooldridge (Lancer E6); 6 Paul Baile/ Loic Ditchburn (Impreza); 7 Dean Baker/andy Falconer (Escort Mk2); 8 Kevin Jones/ Lee Jones (Ferrari 308 Gp4); 9 Roger Titley/ Chris Page (BMW 323); 10 Jamie Hales/ Cameron Wheatley (Impreza). Class winners: Nigel Jenkins/ Karen Jenkins (Vauxhall Nova); Scott Barnes/ Bill Paynter/ Peugeot 106 Rallye); Payton/ Mizen; Titley/ Page; Jones/jones.