Welsh­man and Clarke com­plete stun­ning ti­tle turn­around

Motor Sport News - - Historics - By Paul Lawrence

Ja­son Pritchard and Phil Clarke are the 2016 Min­tex MSA Bri­tish His­toric Rally cham­pi­ons for the sec­ond time af­ter a mea­sured drive on the Track­rod His­toric Cup.

Pritchard and Clarke are only the sec­ond pair­ing to win backto-back BHRC ti­tles, em­u­lat­ing the re­sult of David Stokes and Guy Weaver in 2010/2011.

Dessie Nutt/geral­dine Mcbride (2004 and 2009) and Steven Smith/john Ni­chols (2005 and 2008) are the other dou­ble ti­tle win­ners in the cham­pi­onship’s 16-year his­tory.

Pritchard just needed to fin­ish the York­shire event, but ad­mit­ted to a ner­vous day on the way to fifth in the Dalby For­est.

“It’s been a long day and it was hard to find a rhythm,” he said. “The car was per­fect and I was just try­ing to drive in the mid­dle of the road and stay out of trou­ble. But it was fin­ish­ing that mat­tered.”

Af­ter three mid-sea­son non­fin­ishes, Pritchard thought his sea­son was over.

“I never thought we’d get to this when I was sit­ting on a bank on Epynt af­ter the en­gine blew up on the Harry Flat­ters in July,” said the Builth Wells driver. How­ever, two max­i­mum scores on the Isle of Man put him and Clarke right back into con­tention and a fin­ish was all that they needed in York­shire to over­haul Paul Barrett.

Pritchard and Clarke’s plans for 2017 have yet to be dis­cussed, but no one has won a third BHRC ti­tle in a row. The late Stokes was a four-time cham­pion over an eight-year stint at the head of the cham­pi­onship con­test.

Pritchard and Clarke took an­other crown

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