PLUCKY PETCH EARNS A WIN Gar­dener wins on first Welsh cham­pi­onship out­ing in 2016 while Fran­cis is cham­pion

Petch takes first over­all vic­tory as Payne seals the ti­tle. By Ian Harden

Motor Sport News - - Btrda: Woodpecker Stages - SS1 Bringe­wood (3.25 miles) SS2 Highvin­nalls (8.76 miles) SS3 Hop­ton (4.27 miles) SS4 Rad­nor (10.38 miles) SS5 Hazel Cop­pice (2.09 miles) SS6 Haye Park (8.7 miles) RE­SULTS REIS Ravenol BTRDA Rally Se­ries, round 7/8, Woodpecker Stages, Septem­ber 3

Shaun Gar­dener and Ben Innes took their first MSA Welsh cham­pi­onship max­i­mum points haul of 2016. How­ever, it did not af­fect the out­come of the se­ries as, even though they failed to fin­ish, Luke Fran­cis and John H Roberts were crowned over­all cham­pi­ons.

The Mit­subishi Lancer crew al­ready had six max­i­mums and their points for a DNF gave them an unbeatable 30-point mar­gin over sec­ond-placed An­drew Jones/keaton Wil­liams (Ford Es­cort Mk2).

Be­hind Gar­dener, the Sub­aru Im­preza WRCS of Dy­lan Davies/llion Wil­liams and Karl Sim­mons and Mark Glen­ner­ster col­lected solid scores both in the over­all stand­ings and in their classes.

Be­fore the rally, Wug Ut­ting and Bob Stokoe had a math­e­mat­i­cal chance of tak­ing over­all hon­ours at sea­son’s end but they needed to take top points away from Lud­low. On the day, Ut­ting’s Group N Sub­aru Im­preza lost out in both speed and grip on the slip­pery sur­face, par­tic­u­larly through Hop­ton. Try as he might, the ex­pe­ri­enced Sur­rey driver could not match the pace of Group N ri­vals Andy Davies/max Free­man’s Im­preza, and he had to set­tle for sec­ond in Group N and post-rally, he finds him­self third in the se­ries stand­ings.

In the classes, Boyd Ker­shaw/bryan Hull (Es­cort Mk2) sur­vived a num­ber of close shaves with the un­der­growth to come sec­ond be­hind Gavin Ed­wards/ Caron Tom­lin­son’s sim­i­lar ma­chine but their points haul gave them an unas­sail­able lead in Class 6. Colin and Martin Grif­fiths (BMW Com­pact) also fin­ished sec­ond but took sea­son’s hon­ours, this time in the over-two litre Class 7. Chief ri­vals, Ash­ley Davies/ Sam Ford­ham over­came a wrong tyre choice and al­ter­na­tor prob­lems on their Es­cort to win on the day, but lose out for the se­ries.

Stephen Petch/ Michael Wilkin­son Jamie An­der­son/ Ross Whit­tock Char­lie Payne/carl Wil­liamson Shaun Gar­dener/ Ben Innes Cal­lum Black/ El­liott Ed­mond­son Wayne Sis­son/ Neil Shanks Dy­lan Davies/ Llion Wil­liams Richard Hill/st­ef­fan Evans Karl Sim­mons/ Mark Glen­er­ster Russ Thomp­son/andy Mur­phy

STAGE WIN­NERS RF1.4: Re­tal­lick

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