Henry im­presses as Ed­wards runs out of luck. By Jack Benyon

Motor Sport News - - Btrda: Dmack Carlisle Stages - Pho­tos: Writ­tle Pho­to­graphic, Chi­cane Me­dia

De­spite not com­pet­ing in the BTRDA for 11 months Desi Henry took a bril­liant win on the DMACK Carlisle Stages in his Skoda Fabia R5 by 38 sec­onds.

Un­for­tu­nately though, a close bat­tle was ru­ined when the ex­cel­lent Matt Ed­wards suf­fered an off af­ter an elec­tri­cal fail­ure fol­lowed an throt­tle stuck open on his Ford Fi­esta R5, con­sign­ing him and for­mer M-sport leg­end John Milling­ton to re­tire­ment.

Ed­wards has spent years in a Mit­subishi Lancer E9, and his im­pres­sive per­for­mances in the BRC this year meant the Con­way driver had the chance of a life­time thanks to rally com­peti­tor and spon­sor Peter Smith and his con­nec­tion with Swift Car­a­vans. DMACK and M-sport com­pleted the deal and a dream came true for the hard work­ing and like­able Welsh­man. But the fairy­tale would never be re­alised.

It was an in­ter­est­ing mood in ser­vice as it was clear tyre choice would be key to the morn­ing’s loop. Pre­dict­ing the con­di­tions in the Kielder For­est is al­most im­pos­si­ble, and like­wise choos­ing a com­bi­na­tion of tyre com­pounds to suit as overnight rain may or may not have damp­ened the roads in places.

Henry – with Liam Moyni­han on the notes – drew first blood on the open­ing test with Ed­wards tied with two other cars for sec­ond. One of those driv­ers tied was an­other man in­tro­duc­ing him­self into the lead bat­tle, Peter Tay­lor. Af­ter over seven months out of ral­ly­ing, the for­mer BRC and MSA As­phalt reg­u­lar was bang on the pace from the off with im­pres­sive co-driver An­drew Roug­head guid­ing the Ford Fo­cus WRC01 through the west Kielder stages. The crews re­ported and in­cred­i­bly un­pre­dictable sur­face coat­ing SS1.

The sec­ond test of the rally was the gar­gan­tuan New­castle­ton stage, and Ed­wards saw to Henry by three sec­onds. But it was here the wheels came off Tay­lor’s charge for vic­tory. A spin in the test cost him time and also meant Ed­wards was in his dust as the car be­hind him on the road. So al­though Ed­wards took three sec­onds out of Henry, the feel­ing was that there was more to be had in what many com­peti­tors de­scribed as one of the best stages in the coun­try.

To round off the morn­ing be­fore ser­vice was a quick run through Ash Park, and there was lit­tle to sep­a­rate crews through there. But Ed­wards was again quick­est by one sec­ond over Tay­lor and an­other clear of Henry and Moyni­han.

That meant Ed­wards led into ser­vice. Four sec­onds was the gap to Henry, but the North­ern Ir­ish­man promised a push for the af­ter­noon. Ed­wards was happy that to a cer­tain ex­tent his job was done. He’d turned up with only a short run in the car on Thurs­day be­fore the event, and he was lead­ing at the half-way point. “It’s al­ready more than any­one ex­pected of me,” said Ed­wards, al­though there had been mur­mur­ings from 0700hrs that he’d be one to watch.

With the event al­ready de­layed one hour for paramedics to be repo­si­tioned in the first stage, the sec­ond loop was pushed back fur­ther as or­gan­is­ers had to deal with Scott Sloan’s Vaux­hall Corsa which erupted in flames at the end of the morn­ing loop.

It was on this Ker­shope test – SS4 – that the rally would re­ally take shape. Ed­wards suc­cumbed to the open

RF1.0: Phil Spil­sted/osian Owen (Nis­san Mi­cra) RF1.4: Do­minic Hodge/stefan Arndt (Nis­san Mi­cra) RF1.6: Richard Wells/calvin Houldsworth (Volk­swa­gen Polo) 1400C: Joe Evett/ Phil Hall (MG ZR) 1400S: Jor­dan Hone/ Paul Hone (Pro­ton Sa­tria) H1: Robin Shut­tle­worth/ Ron­nie Roug­head (Ford Es­cort Mk1mex­ico) H2: Mike Reed/alis­tair Wilk (Ford Es­cort RS 2000) H3: Matthew Robin­son/gra­ham Wil­cock (Fiat 131S) N3: Cameron Davies/ Lee Tay­lor (Ford Fi­esta ST) N4: Andy Davies/ Max Free­man (Subaru Im­preza) B10: Kit Leigh/tim Leigh (Ford Fi­esta R100) B11: Tony Wil­liams/ Karen Phelps (Ford Es­cort RS) B12: Sea­mus O’con­nell/andy Richard­son (Ford Es­cort) B13: Fred Milne/chris Wil­liams (Mit­subishi Lancer E9) B14: Desi Henry/ Liam Moyni­han (Skoda Fabia R5) Sil­ver Star: Matthew Robin­son (Fiat 131S) and Gavin He­sel­tine (Ford Es­cort RS1800) Pro­duc­tion Cup: Davies/ Free­man His­toric Cup: Matthew Robin­son (Fiat 131S) and Gavin He­sel­tine (Ford Es­cort RS1800) Rally First: Hodge/arndt ST Tro­phy: Davies/tay­lor MG ZR Rally Chal­lenge: Evett/ Hall Ju­nior driver: Jor­dan Hone Ju­nior co-driver: Max Free­man Se­nior driver: Tony Wil­liams (Ford Es­cort RS)

Once Zak Hughes and Chris Evans took pole po­si­tion in Ju­nior F1000 af­ter SS7, the Citroen C1 crew made sure of vic­tory with a string of fastest stage times, end­ing the day over a minute clear of the chas­ing pack.

Peter Ben­nett and Arthur Keirans set the early pace head­ing the stand­ings through the open­ing five stages in their Skoda Cit­igo. An over­shoot in SS5 then al­lowed Josh and Tommy Mcer­lean to edge their Peu­geot 107 ahead but not for long. Hav­ing had out­side as­sis­tance af­ter hit­ting a kerb they were ex­cluded.

With rain now re­plac­ing the early sun­shine, Hughes, who had held third place from the out­set, showed his class in mas­ter­ing the dif­fer­ing con­di­tions leav­ing only the ques­tion of who would fin­ish sec­ond to be de­cided. With Ben­nett hav­ing wind­screen demist­ing is­sues, Fin­lay Ret­son and David Fal­coner (Citroen C1) were sec­ond.

Henry im­pressed in ‘Killer Kielder’

Ed­wards’chance of vic­tory in his Ford Fi­esta R5+ prize drive were ended by a stick­ing throt­tle and elec­tri­cal woe

Greer and Rid­dick re­peated strong Bri­tish cham­pi­onship run in Kielder with third on the DMACK Carlisle Stages

Sil­ver Star and H3 class win­ner Robin­son’s 131

Paul Bonas crash


H1: Shut­tle­worth

JUNE 15 2016

Hughes took the Ju­nior win

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