An­der­son gets first R5 win while run­ner-up Fran­cis takes max­i­mum Welsh cham­pi­onship score

Motor Sport News - - Rally Reports - Si­mon Gronow

Run­ning at the head of the field proved ben­e­fi­cial for Jamie An­der­son and Ross Whit­tock as their search for seat time cul­mi­nated in win­ning the Sev­ern Val­ley Stages.

The first stage was a five-mile run through Gwibedog where An­der­son was fastest, six sec­onds quicker than Luke Fran­cis/john Roberts, be­fore the two crews shared fastest time on Crychan 1. An­der­son in­creased his ad­van­tage fol­low­ing an­other fastest time in Cefn, to head Fran­cis by eight sec­onds.

Andy Davies/max Free­man were third fastest on SS1 be­fore re­tir­ing their Subaru Im­preza with fuel pres­sure prob­lems, while Ol­lie Mel­lors/ian Win­dress, who like An­der­son were out test­ing with the Bri­tish cham­pi­onship in mind, moved their Pro­ton Sa­tria Neo S2000 into third de­spite run­ning too soft a tyre.

An 11-mile run through Rad­nor fol­lowed and An­der­son con­tin­ued his good run, beat­ing Fran­cis by six sec­onds. The Mit­subishi man ad­mit­ted to “brak­ing for cor­ners that aren’t there in the dust.” De­spite drop­ping time when he caught the dust of Dylan Davies/mark Glen­ner­ster’s Subaru, Mel­lors main­tained third, one place ahead of Davies who had slowed when a strut came loose on his Im­preza.

Af­ter a seven-month lay­off, Sara Wil­liams re­turned in her Subaru, and she and Pa­trick Walsh held fifth place, ahead of the Mit­subishi Lancer E10 of Sasha Kakad/james Aldridge.

The fi­nal trio of stages were re­peats of the first three of the day, and de­spite the Fi­esta’s tyres hav­ing “seen their best,” three fastest times rounded off the win in style for An­der­son and Whit­tock ahead of Fran­cis.

Mel­lors was pleased with his day as three third fastest times sealed the fi­nal podium spot, his car hav­ing run fault­lessly. He also found dust to be less of an is­sue on the later stages, and Davies/glen­ner­ster found the lat­ter tests more to their lik­ing as they se­cured fourth place.

There was a change for fifth, as Kakad/aldridge put in a big ef­fort in Rad­nor to over­take Wil­liams/walsh, the lat­ter’s Subaru be­ing a lit­tle “tail happy” on the later stages. Just two sec­onds be­hind Wil­liams were Wug Ut­ting/bob Stokoe whose pre-event aim had been a top five fin­ish. How­ever, a slow­ish time for their Im­preza in Rad­nor put paid to this.

In the Welsh cham­pi­onship, Fran­cis took a max­i­mum ahead of Dylan Davies and Sara Wil­liams and leads Davies by 30 points with five rounds gone and three to go.

BRC duo were on form in Wales

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