COLE TOP­PLES CAERWENT RI­VALS

Motor Sport News - - Rally Reports - Mid Sum­mer Caerwent Rally By Si­mon Gronow Re­sults ROAD RALLY ROUND-UP

Or­gan­iser: South Wales Au­to­mo­bile Club When: June 11 Where: Caerwent, Mon­mouthshire Cham­pi­onships: J D Tyres Welsh Na­tional Tar­ma­cadam Cham­pi­onship; FMP Rally Chal­lenge: HRCR Old Stager His­toric Rally Cham­pi­onship Starters: 63 Stages: six

De­spite mak­ing a slow start on the wet open­ing stages, Damian Cole soon made amends and re­peated his win of 2015 by tak­ing vic­tory on the Mid Sum­mer Caerwent Rally.

As was the case last year, Phil Turner/ Si­mon Anthony fin­ished in the run­ners up spot in their Mit­subishi Lancer E9, with Carl O’grady tak­ing third in his Nis­san Sunny F2, part­nered by young El­lie Wil­laims, who took a day off from her For­mula 1000 driv­ing du­ties.

On the first of the six runs, Turner found the stage just to his lik­ing as he went fastest in the wet con­di­tions by 14 sec­onds from Gareth Bet­tin­son/ Sarah Ed­wards (Ford Es­cort Mk2) with O’grady go­ing well to take third.

An off on the last cor­ner of SS2 re­sulted in Turner’s Mit­subishi los­ing a front wheel, but he still held the lead as Cole – part­nered by Paul Mor­ris – took the first of five con­sec­u­tive fastest times ahead of Robert Tout/ian Davis in their Lancer E10. While Cole was fastest again on SS3, Turner – who was third fastest be­hind Tout – still main­tained the lead, only to lose it on the fol­low­ing test, when Cole/ Mor­ris took 10 sec­onds out of their ri­vals to move into a lead. Fastest times on the fi­nal two stages en­sured they were able to seal the win af­ter a prob­lem free run.

With Bet­tin­son out fol­low­ing en­gine prob­lems, Turner/anthony were safe in the run­ner up spot, so the bat­tle for third was be­tween O’grady and Tout. With the stages now bone dry, O’grady/ Wil­liams set two sec­ond fastest and one third fastest time over the last three stages in their Nis­san to seal the fi­nal podium po­si­tion, as Tout/davis fin­ished in a com­fort­able fourth place.

An­other prob­lem free run en­abled Wynne Watkins/sher­ryn Roberts to fin­ish fifth and win class six in their Subaru Im­preza, whilst young Thomas Cooper, part­nered by Paul Wil­liams, fol­lowed up his sec­ond place fin­ish on the Dale Stages with a fine sixth in his Lancer E8.

Chris Butcher/andy Holling­ham were clear win­ners of class one in their Suzuki Swift, as were Bryan Whale/ Gary Whit­ting­ton in class 2, the lat­ter crew’s Vaux­hall Nova prov­ing re­li­able at last fol­low­ing a visit to Ian Evans Mo­tor­sport for a new gear­box.

In the his­toric cat­e­gory, Jon Ford/ Peter Thomas pre­ferred the ear­lier wet con­di­tions as op­posed to the af­ter­noon’s dry­ing tests, but went on to win the class by over a minute in their Ford Es­cort Mk1. They were fol­lowed home by the Minis of Jim Brindle/ Sam Bould and Adrian Ker­mode/ Mau­rice Beck­ett.

Cole ear ned first Es­cort Mk2 vic­tory of the year in Caerwent

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