Gid­dings takes Gwynnespeed vic­tory

Motor Sport News - - Erc: Barum Rally - ROAD RALLY ROUND-UP Ian Mills

James Gid­dings took an­other step to­wards a first Gwynnespeed Chal­lenge cham­pi­onship crown with a class win on the Gareth Hall Me­mo­rial Stages.

Gid­dings – vis­it­ing Traws for a sec­ond con­sec­u­tive year – took 10 fastest stage times out of 12 on the event, as the emerg­ing Mat Wheeler was his only chal­lenge for top hon­ours.

Matt De­vlin – mak­ing his Chal­lenge de­but – rolled on SS3 and dam­aged his ra­di­a­tor putting him out.

Due to Gid­dings ex­pe­ri­ence, Wheeler felt at a dis­ad­van­tage but the for­mer M-sport me­chanic was rarely fur­ther than a few sec­onds back from the cham­pi­onship leader. In the end the deficit was 42s af­ter 12 tests.

Gid­dings vic­tory was fur­ther boosted by play­ing his joker card, mean­ing he takes a 17-point lead into the next round – Septem­ber’s Peter Lloyd Stages – with three rounds in to­tal re­main­ing. His only real is­sues were an­other lost C2 bumper and a de­tached wa­ter pipe on the event’s sec­ond stage.

The Vaux­hall Zafira doesn’t rate highly in the pan­theon of great mo­tor­sport suc­cesses but that’s the ve­hi­cle that Gra­ham Hep­worth/ Iain Tul­lie used to take vic­tory on the Col­man Tyres Rally.

It proved to be a tough event with tor­ren­tial rain and mist, com­bined with de­mand­ing sec­tions over the Cat­t­er­ick Ranges, cre­at­ing a se­vere chal­lenge for crews.

Dave Lead­bet­ter/cath Wood­man (BMW) were only eight sec­onds be­hind the win­ners at the halfway point, but a missed board in the sec­ond half de­moted them to third be­hind Ge­off Good­win/sam Spencer’s Pro­ton at the Fin­ish.

None of the top three starters made the fin­ish; Richard Hunter/gary Evans and Richard Hem­ming­way/ Sam Col­lis ended their ral­lies in the ditch, while Tony Har­ri­son/ Paul Taylor suc­cumbed to clutch fail­ure.

The over­all win on the novice ori­ented Clas­sic Lanes Rally had to be de­cided on a tie break with Tim Owen/ Ryan Grif­fiths win­ning out over Zak Hughes/ Paul Hughes.

Gid­dings over­came is­sues on SS2 to take max­i­mum points

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