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