Track­rod His­toric Cup

Motor Sport News - - Rally Reports - By Paul Lawrence RE­SULTS Pho­tos: Mark Writ­tle, Paul Lawrence Bri­tish His­toric Rally Cham­pi­onship, round 8/8 , Septem­ber 30/October 1 POS DRIVER/CO-DRIVER

Or­gan­iser: Track­rod Mo­tor Club When: Septem­ber 30/ October 1 Where: Dalby For­est, York­shire Cham­pi­onships Min­tex Bri­tish His­toric Rally Cham­pi­onship; Mo­to­scope North­ern His­toric Rally Cham­pi­onship; Land Rover Chal­lenge; De­fender Chal­lenge Stages: 6 Starters: 51

A dom­i­nant over­all vic­tory for Steve Ban­nis­ter and Cal­lum Atkin­son and a sec­ond BHRC ti­tle for Ja­son Pritchard and Phil Clarke were the head­lines from an ex­cel­lent Track­rod His­toric Cup.

Start­ing with a 10-miler through Dalby in the dark of Fri­day evening and con­tin­u­ing with five more clas­sic York­shire stages on Satur­day, the Track­rod was once more a fit­ting fi­nale for the Min­tex MSA Bri­tish His­toric Rally Cham­pi­onship. A mea­sured drive from Pritchard and Clarke was more than enough to seal the ti­tle af­ter a sea­son of dra­matic highs and lows. “It was hard to con­cen­trate, but we did what mat­tered,” said Pritchard, be­fore apol­o­gis­ing to the spec­ta­tors for what, at times, felt like a pedes­trian pace.

While Pritchard was con­tent with fifth over­all, Ban­nis­ter and Cal­lum Atkin­son were peer­less as the lo­cal leg­end de­liv­ered yet an­other mighty per­for­mance in his back yard. ‘Ban­ner’ was hot to trot when the event started and grabbed an im­me­di­ate 20s lead over 10 miles of Dalby dark­ness. By the end of Satur­day, that mar­gin was out to more than two min­utes.

“We had a good run in the dark,” said the typ­i­cally un­der­stated Ban­nis­ter af­ter a con­sum­mate per­for­mance. “Bril­liant stages: you couldn’t ask for any­thing bet­ter than be­ing in the York­shire forests with stages like that,” he said af­ter an­other York­shire Grand Prix vic­tory.

On Satur­day morn­ing, Matthew Robin­son and Sam Col­lis had rea­son to be op­ti­mistic as a first BHRC max­i­mum for the Fiat 131 seemed a real pos­si­bil­ity. They started the day 20s down on sta­ble­mate Ban­nis­ter and ‘Robbo’ reck­oned he might have halved the gap with a ti­dier open­ing stage. “We would never have matched him. An on-form Ban­nis­ter round here is un­beat­able and last night he was on it,” said Robin­son.

Un­for­tu­nately, the Fiat was out af­ter two more stages. A prop­shaft vi­bra­tion set in through Lang­dale and the shaft failed com­pletely as they left ser­vice. The only con­so­la­tion was that they re­tired right next to the ca­ter­ing wagon, so all was not lost.

With Pritchard set­ting an un­der­stand­ably mod­est pace, it was Steve Ben­nett and Paul Spooner who slot­ted hap­pily into sec­ond and lead­ing BHRC crew. On stages that he par­tic­u­larly en­joys, Ben­nett turned in his best his­toric per­for­mance to date and scored max­i­mum BHRC points for the first time. How­ever, it nearly went wrong on the fi­nal pair of stages in Crop­ton and Gale Rigg. “We had a drama as it didn’t want to go into first gear at the stage starts,” said Ben­nett. “But once it did go in, it was fine,” he added with re­lief.

Stages like Dalby and Lang­dale are hardly the places to take a 1600cc cross­flow Es­cort Mk1 on a gi­ant-killing mis­sion, but that’s ex­actly what Adam Mil­ner and Roy Jarvis did ( They took fourth over­all and won Cat­e­gory 2 by a handy mar­gin af­ter an out­stand­ing per­for­mance.

It could even have been third for Mil­ner, but a very strong fi­nal stage from broth­ers Mark and Ed Bentley pushed their Es­cort Mk2 up a place for their best UK his­toric re­sult to date. “We were fourth in Morocco in May and now third here,” said Mark of two fine re­sults on wildly con­trast­ing ral­lies.

Sixth over­all be­hind Pritchard was a class D3-win­ning run from Shawn Rayner and De­clan Dear who duly sealed the BHRC class ti­tle af­ter a fine con­test with ri­vals and friends Ben Friend and Cliffy Sim­mons in a bat­tle of the Pinto Mk2s: “It was ter­ri­ble last night with an over­shoot and a stall, but to­day it came to­gether,” said Rayner. Friend chased 1 Steve Ban­nis­ter/cal­lum Atkin­son 2 Steve Ben­nett/ Paul Spooner 3 Mark Bentley/ Ed Bentley 4 Adam Mil­ner/ Roy Jarvis 5 Ja­son Pritchard/ Phil Clarke 6 Shawn Rayner/ De­clan Dear 7 War­ren Philliskirk/ Nigel Hutchin­son 8 Tom Hewick/ Mick Johnson 9 Barry Steven­son-wheeler/john Pick­a­vance 10 Ben Friend/cliffy Sim­mons

Class win­ners Phil Har­ris/ Paul Ken­drick (Mini Cooper); Bob Bean/ Cap­tain Thomp­son (Ford Lo­tus Cortina); Mil­ner/jarvis; Terry Cree/ Richard Shores (BMW 2002); Philliskirk/ Hutchin­son; Chris Skill/tom Jor­dan (Es­cort Mk2); Rayner/ Dear; Ban­nis­ter/ Atkin­son; Pritchard/ Clarke.

hard but two spins in Dalby on Satur­day, both in front of TV cam­eras, blunted his chal­lenge.

War­ren Philliskirk and Nigel Hutchin­son had a scare with fuel vapouri­sa­tion early in Dalby af­ter a de­lay at the start, but oth­er­wise had a fine day on home ground for sev­enth over­all and sec­ond in Cat­e­gory 2, while Tom Hewick/mick Johnson and Barry Steven­son-wheeler/john Pick­a­vance both pushed their Es­cort Mk2s into the top 10 over­all.

In Cat­e­gory 1, the ev­er­green Bob Bean and his man ser­vant Cap­tain Thomp­son brought the ven­er­a­ble Lo­tus Cortina home well clear of the punc­ture­de­layed Mini Cooper of Phil Har­ris and Paul Ken­drick.

Chris Skill and Tom Jor­dan again topped class D2 in their 1600cc Ford Es­cort, but ar­rived at the fin­ish with Skill be­rat­ing him­self for chuck­ing it into a ditch in Gale Rigg and los­ing what would have been a fab­u­lous sixth over­all.

The fi­nal class win­ners were Terry Cree and Richard Shores (BMW 2002) in class C3, de­spite los­ing 50bhp in the run up to the rally.

Or­gan­iser: Mun­ster Car Club When: October 1/2 Where: County Cork, Ire­land Cham­pi­onship: Ir­ish Tar­mac Rally Cham­pi­onship, South­ern 4 Rally Cham­pi­onship Stages: 14 Starters: 79

The Cork ‘20’ proved to be a rally of firsts: Josh Moffett scored his first in­ter­na­tional vic­tory, while Keith Cronin over­turned Alas­tair Fisher to take his first Ir­ish Tar­mac Cham­pi­onship – the first of the R5 era.

It also proved to be the first ITRC round of the sea­son won over­all by an R5-spec car when not shar­ing with the Bri­tish cham­pi­onship, the oth­ers be­ing won by WRC cars that are no longer el­i­gi­ble to win the out­right ti­tle.

The open­ing Satur­day stages were damp and slippy. Cronin opened his scor­ing with a fastest time through SS1 Ca­her­dug­gan, and then Alas­tair Fisher was quick­est through SS2 Glen­tane to hold a slen­der 5s lead at first ser­vice in Fer­moy. Cronin said he was def­i­nitely


Reian Jones/cadog Davies kept their Welsh Cham­pi­onship hopes alive by charg­ing to a clear win on The Au­tumn Rally. They fin­ished a de­mand­ing 130-mile event over four min­utes clear of the 90-car field.

Sec­ond place was taken by Ian ‘Dude’ Roberts/gwawr Hughes, who now need just one more top score to take the lead in the Welsh se­ries as dropped scores af­fect those cur­rently at the top of the ta­ble.

Present cham­pi­onship lead­ers Polly/chris Ash­ley came in sev­enth and still have a 100 per cent fin­ish­ing record af­ter 10 rounds.

Top seeds Dale Fur­niss/ Nick Blox­ham went out in the first half, while John Davies/aled Richards got stuck in mud af­ter slid­ing off the road af­ter Petrol.

Huw Jones/ Lee Tay­lor held sec­ond at Petrol but were among a large num­ber of crews who missed a tricky route check in Brechfa For­est. Kevin Davies/owain Davies would have fin­ished in sec­ond but missed a code board.

Pritchard/clarke took MSA Bri­tish His­toric cham­pi­onship ‘Ban­ner’ took an­other Track­rod vic­tory

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