Evett and Hall return to BTRDA for incredible result 1400C/1400S
11 Sacha Kakad/james Aldridge (Lancer E10); 12 Barry Groundwater/ Neil Shanks (Lancer E10); 13 Rory Young/allan Cathers (Fiesta R5); 14 Scott Mccombie/ Mark Fisher (Lancer E9); 15 Shaun Sinclair/ Stephen O’hanlon (Ford Fiesta R5); 16 Ross Macdonald/ Stuart Loudon (Lancer E9); 17 Brian Bell/jamie Edwards (Focus 07 WRC); 18 Ian Baumgart/ Mike Dickson (Impreza); 19 Michael Binnie/ Claire Mole (Lancer E5); 20 Fraser Wilson/ Craig Wallace (Lancer E9).
throttle and electrical malady, while it was Taylor to the fore. He declared the stage one of his favourites in service promising a big push, and he didn’t disappoint going quickest by two seconds. That may not seem so special in itself, but the fact the Focus crossed the stopline with two-front punctures tells you just how hard and quick Taylor had taken the stage. Luckily not succumbing to numerous clipped banks or a tree stump thanks to the puncture, Taylor and Roughead inherited second but the gap was still 17s with only the short Ash Park test left. There was no sign of it getting any easier for Taylor either, with faulty power steering ruining any chance of reeling in Henry. After finishing second on the same event last year, it was a case of two years a bridesmaid for the plucky crew.
But there was no stopping Henry who topped the final test on his way to a first BTRDA win and a second gravel win in 2016 after topping the Moonraker Rally in Ireland.
Taking the podium on the final stage by a single second was Jonny Greer as he begins a busy two months of rallying. Sitting fifth in the British Rally Championship standings, he and Kirsty Greer were in Carlisle to sharpen up and gain more experience on gravel before the next British Rally Championship round; the RSAC Scottish. An uneventful run gave the crew a great result to take home, as they head to Donegal next weekend.
Despite being deposed on the final stage, Charlie Payne overcame a trip into a ditch to be the highest registered BTRDA campaigner to finish. That was made even more valuable by the fact that his closest championship contender – Luke Francis – retired after propshaft trouble and having only two-wheel-drive after SS2. The Welshman will need to win the next two and he confirmed he would be attempting to do so on two of his favourite events, the Nicky Grist and the Woodpecker.
Another driver with trouble was Stephen Petch, who went with a radical tyre choice in the morning loop. He thought the strong sidewall would help as others could suffer punctures, but as he stated in service, that was no good if you weren’t on the pace and close enough to benefit. Despite a puncture, off and overshoot on the same stage in the afternoon, he managed to come home fifth and second registered BTRDA runner with Michael Wilkinson on the notes.
Petch’s finish also meant that Pirelli – whichhas a factory in Carlisle – boasted the top five finishers on it’s rubber.
Behind Petch but still impressing in the order were Paul Benn and Richard Cooke in sixth in their Ford Focus WRC02, continuing their strong run in Carlisle after a fourth on the Malcolm Wilson Rally, the second round of the BTRDA.
As the dust settled, 36 cars of the 111 entries retired on what was a taxing rally, but the real winners were Henry and Payne. Henry scored a confidence-boosting win to take with him to the Scottish Rally, after fifth on the Brc-counting Pirelli Rally last month. Payne takes maximum points from this event and a 22 BTRDA Gold Star points lead into the Nicky Grist in July. The Yorkshireman has a win, two seconds and this weekend’s fourth on his record in a consistent 2016 run so far. ■ morning’s competitive action.
But the real drama occurred in the afternoon. In the fourth of five stages, Brick had an off into a ditch in the plucky Vauxhall Nova and his hard work was undone in what is a tricky rally.
Evett took another four seconds on the final stage and the win belonged to he and Hall. For a near standard car to beat many more powerful cars was an incredible achievement for the crew.
Neil Andrew/dom Adams (Nissan Micra) rounded out the top three behind Brick.
After a similar battle on the recent Malcolm Wilson Stages also held in Kielder, Jordan and Paul Hone took 1400S honours in their Proton Satria.
Malcolm Wilson winner and 2014 1400 champion Mat Smith had been leading but took a wheel off in the lengthy SS4, leaving the likeable Northern Irish crew to overcome power steering issues in the afternoon on his way to class honours and 34th overall.
Second in class were Matthew Jackson/claire Williams (Micra) after some inspired repairs on the rear-right corner kept the car in the event. Even more impressive considering it was Jackson’s first visit to Kielder. They managed 40th overall. Keith/mairi Riddick (MG ZR) were third.
Organiser: Blackpool South Shore Motor Club Date: June 12 Where: Weeton Camp, Nr Blackpool Championships: ANWCC; F1000; SD34; Junior 1000 Rally Championship (Juniors only). Stages: 11 Starters: 55
In a repeat of last year’s result Simon Bowen and Richard Robinson took the victor’s spoils in their Subaru Impreza WRC S11 finishing almost three minutes ahead of the Ford Escort Cosworth of Mark Roberts and Stephen Landen.
A spin on SS1 meant Bowen finished the test in fifth place, 25 seconds adrift of the Ford Focus WRC03 of Graham Butler and Chris O’connor. Thereafter, Bowen dominated the fastest stage times, grabbing the lead after SS5 and not letting go. Butler’s retirement with gearbox problems in SS7 left Bowen with a minute margin over Roberts and not even an intermittent issue with the launch control could prevent him from winning.
Roberts surrendered second place to the similar car of Keith Richardson and Sion Cunniff at the end of SS10 but an ECU issue meant they’d go no further leaving Roberts as runner-up. Nigel and Tim Hobson looked set to finish third but a last stage altercation with a kerb left their Mitsubishi Lancer E9 minus a wheel. That handed the final podium place to