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Motor Sport News - - Erc: Rally Rzeszow - By John Fife Re­sults Pho­tos: Chi­cane Me­dia, Kevin Money

Al­nwick and District, Ber­wick and District Mo­tor Au­gust 8 Ot­ter­burn, Northum­ber­land MSA Asphalt Rally Cham­pi­onship; AS Per­for­mance North of Eng­land Tar­ma­cadam Rally Cham­pi­onship; BTRDA Rally Chal­lenge; Scot­tish Tar­mack Rally Cham­pi­onship; North­ern His­toric Asphalt Cham­pi­onship; MSA English Cham­pi­onship. Stages: 12 Starters: 81 Clubs

Damian Cole and Paul Morris took a third MSA Asphalt Cham­pi­onship win in as many rounds as the duo over­came Steve Simp­son and Pa­trick Walsh to lead the rally from start to fin­ish.

The even­tual mar­gin of vic­tory was 22 sec­onds, but it could eas­ily have been more, or less, as four of the day’s 12 stages were clean­able, the bo­gey be­ing beaten by the rapid crews.

Run­ning soft tyres on his Ford Fi­esta WRC for the first three stages Cole quickly opened up a gap on the rest of the field, then switched to hard com­pounds for the next three and opened it up some more. Although he beat the bo­gey on the Dudlees tests on both runs he still had a 12-sec­ond cush­ion over Laf­fey’s Ford Fi­esta R5 Evo af­ter six stages.

Even on ‘su­per softs’ Steve Simp­son was strug­gling to stay in touch. He mus­cled the big Subaru Im­preza around the nar­row con­fines of the Ot­ter­burn roads to take third place although a ‘soft’ brake pedal was giv­ing him cause for con­cern.

Laf­fey’s CA1 Sport team-mate Tom Pre­ston was fourth at the half way point, and grin­ning: “I spun on the first one – I was just too quick into a cor­ner, then I did it again on the fourth test.” This time he had a bet­ter ex­cuse as the flat­shift was giv­ing him a bit of trou­ble in his Skoda Fabia R5.

First time out with Ian Win­dress on the notes, David Tinn was hold­ing fifth place in the Pro­ton while Stephen Petch rounded off the top half dozen in his Fi­esta R5+. Not so lucky was Michael Glendin­ning, the Subaru trail­ing omi­nous blue smoke as he headed for home af­ter three stages.

There was no let up on pace and pres­sure on the af­ter­noon runs, but quite a few of the fron­trun­ners cleaned two more stages and no-one could chal­lenge Cole. Simp­son tried, and although he caught and passed Laf­fey, that was as far as he would get and that was the only change in the top six.

Things might have changed had the rain ar­rived ear­lier, but only the last stage was af­fected for the fron­trun­ners.

Richard Clews was on course for sev­enth place. “I’ve been sev­enth on the past three events,” he said, but Rory Young spoiled his record just catch­ing and pass­ing him on the last two stages de­spite a slight mis­fire. “It did it once last year,” said Young, “and we fixed it - but I can’t re­mem­ber what we did!”

Bob Grant fin­ished ninth and Richard Slinger rounded off the top 10 de­spite a punc­ture on the first stage and a slight off on the eighth.

Both John Mar­shall and Gary Adam failed to fin­ish, Mar­shall’s Subaru suf­fer­ing com­plete elec­tri­cal fail­ure and Adam’s Es­cort los­ing power till the fault was traced to a bro­ken al­ter­na­tor wire.

Wil­liam Hill scored the 1600 class win in his Fi­esta R200 from the Corsa of Neil Thomp­son. But Sean Rob­son was forced out when the al­ter­na­tor failed in his Citroen C2 and Gareth White re­tired his Peu­geot 208 with a sus­pected dropped valve.

An­drew Eg­ger was top 1400 run­ner in his Nova from the Corsa of Richard Milbank.

Derek Tohill made his first home Ir­ish ral­ly­cross ap­pear­ance since March and his Ford Fi­esta duly ran away with both the Su­per­car Fi­nal and the Su­per Fi­nal.

Tohill was 19s clear of the older ver­sion of Thomas O’raf­ferty in the Su­per­car race and in­creased this to 21s in the fi­nal race of the day, with O’raf­ferty drop­ping to third right on the fin­ish line when Noel Greene’s Mit­subishi Mi­rage just got the drop on him out of the last cor­ner.

De­fend­ing Na­tional cham­pion Wil­lie Coyne’s Opel Corsa eas­ily beat the BMW of Pearse Browne and Pa­trick Ryan’s Nova in the Mod­i­fied A race, with Coyne go­ing on to take fourth po­si­tion and first two-wheel-drive car home in the main race.

John Ward’s Peu­geot 106 led paul nolan home in the 16-valve Stock Hatch race, with the 205 of Ciaran Mur­phy hold­ing off Damian Far­rell in the eight-valve ver­sion. Pa­trick Donoghue dom­i­nated the Rally Car Fi­nal, with Mor­gan Quinn re­peat­ing his March win in the Ju­nior Fi­nal, and Dan Mc­don­nell do­ing the same among the Fi­es­tas.

A run­away win for paul blair kept alive his hopes of re­tain­ing the NI Au­totest ti­tle, with points leader paul mooney a dis­tant sec­ond, and two rounds re­main­ing.

When: Au­gust 7

1 Derek Tohill (Ford Fi­esta Mk 7) 5m15.907s; 2 Noel Greene (Mit­subishi Mi­rage) +21.512s; 3 Thomas O’raf­ferty (Ford Fi­esta); 4 Wil­lie Coyne (Opel Corsa); 5 Pa­trick Ryan (Vaux­hall Nova); 6 Chris Grimes (Vaux­hall Nova). Su­per­car A Fi­nal: 1 Tohill 4m08.510s; 2 O’raf­ferty +19.380s; 3 Greene. Mod­i­fied A Fi­nal: 1 Coyne 4m 31.677s; 2 Pearse Browne (BMW Com­pact) +5.297s; 3 Ryan Fi­nal: 1 John Ward (Peu­geot 106) 4m44.727s; 2 Paul Nolan (Peu­geot 106) +3.252s; 3 Leigh Anne Sedg­wick (Citroen Saxo). Stock Hatch 8 valve A Fi­nal: 1 Ciaran Mur­phy (Peu­geot 205) 4m 56.142s; 2 Damian Far­rell (Peu­geot 205) +2.497s; 3 Adrian Far­rell (Peu­geot 205). 1 Pa­trick Donoghue (Peu­geot 205) 4m41.528s; 2 Peter O’brien (Peu­geot 205) +23.311s; 3 Wil­liam Ce­cil (Peu­geot 205). Ju­nior A Fi­nal: 1 Mor­gan Quinn (Nis­san Mi­cra) 5m 17.404s; 2 Shane Dug­gan (Nis­san Mi­cra) +0.337; 3 Ben Mullins (Nis­san Mi­cra). Fi­esta A Fi­nal: 1 Dan Mc­don­nell 5m 00.406s; 2 Keith Kerr­shaawe +2.841s; 3 Ro­nan Mc­don­nell.

DRIVER

Timmy Hansen An­dreas Bakkerud Jo­han Kristof­fers­son Toomas Heikki­nen Pet­ter Sol­berg An­ton Mark­lund

Hill took a class win in his Ford Fi­esta R200 Ot­ter­burn was no match for Cole Tyneside Stages

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