Mil­ner over­takes Blomqvist in an­other gi­ant-killing dis­play in York­shire

Motor Sport News - - Rally Reports -

While Steve Ban­nis­ter and Ja­son Pritchard scooped the big prizes on the Track­rod His­toric Cup, young Adam Mil­ner turned in the drive of the rally to push his 1600cc Ford Es­cort Mk1 into an amaz­ing fourth over­all.

It is only 12 months since Mil­ner burst into the BHRC by get­ting the car built by co-driver Roy Jarvis well into the top 10 on his home event. He’s man­aged only a hand­ful of ral­lies in 2016 but the 26-year-old from Mal­ton has set a stun­ning pace ev­ery time out. How­ever, last week­end’s charge through the York­shire forests was the best yet and came on stages that are hardly a happy hunt­ing ground for the se­ri­ously un­der-pow­ered 1600cc cars.

The week­end didn’t start so well as a ma­jor brake drama left them late for scru­ti­neer­ing and there was an­other panic as the in­ter­com threat­ened to fail at the start of the 10-mile blast through Dalby on Fri­day evening. The stage was very slip­pery and Mil­ner had two over­shoots and a spin as he ex­plored the lim­its. De­spite those in­ci­dents be caught and passed Stig Blomqvist’s Opel As­cona just af­ter the wood­yard and that’s a tale that Mil­ner will dine out on for a long time. “I couldn’t be­lieve we were still in the rally af­ter that first stage,” ad­mit­ted Jarvis af­ter an ex­cit­ing ride that left them fourth over­all.

Satur­day could scarcely have gone bet­ter. Third fastest through 13 miles of Lang­dale and only beaten by Ban­nis­ter and Matthew Robin­son was an epic per­for­mance as the neck of the lit­tle cross­flow was well and truly wrung. A string of top six times else­where sealed the re­sult and both crew mem­bers cheered over the fin­ish line of Gale Rigg as the ghost of a last stage off on the Sev­ern Val­ley Stages was laid.

“Bril­liant,” said Mil­ner at the fin­ish. “We had a big mo­ment in Dalby to­day: we hit a big bump flat out and it was side­ways in top gear,” he added. But this guy has nat­u­ral car con­trol on his side, prob­a­bly a legacy of a lot of time spent on mo­tor­bikes. “I drove with my head in­stead of my balls and Roy did a great job on the notes so we got a strong fin­ish. Spray­ing the cham­pagne for the first time felt amaz­ing!”

Mil­ner is surely the most tal­ented young driver to emerge in his­torics since Marty Mccormack burst onto the scene in his ever-side­ways Es­cort Mk2. Of course, Jarvis de­serves enor­mous credit for mak­ing it hap­pen and hav­ing the con­fi­dence to sit along­side and call the notes. Never be­fore has a 1600cc car fin­ished so high up the over­all BHRC or­der. Some­one give this man a BDG!

Mil­ner im­pressed last year in Dalby and re­peated the feat in 2016

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