SUBARU CREW TRI­UMPHS

Motor Sport News - - Racing Reports - By Peter Scherer

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.

Gard­ner/gra­ham dom­i­nated

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