TINN ON TOP ON OTTERBURN
Cheviot Stages Rally
Organiser: Whickham and District MC; Hadrian Motor Sports Club When: October 9 Where: Otterburn, Northumberland Championships MSA Asphalt Rally Championship; Historic Tarmac R.A.C. Rally Championship; North of England Tarmacadam Rally Championship; HRCR Northern Historic Asphalt Championship; ANCC Stage Rally Championship; Border Rally Challenge Stages: 12 Starters: 54
Having won numerous single venue rallies in the last few years, David Tinn scored his first multi-venue rally victory on pacenotes on Sunday when he and Giles Dykes won the Cheviot Stages Rally at Otterburn.
Tinn led from the start in his Proton Satria, but it was never easy.
“I went out on slicks for the first loop of three stages – and it rained,” said Tinn. “Even with Inters on for the next three I had to back off in places.”
Local ace Michael Glendinning was only 35 seconds behind in his Subaru after three stages but was having to fend off the Mitsubishi Lancer E6 of Richard Slinger who seized the runner-up position after the second loop by one second.
Glendinning’s fightback suffered a terminal setback on the next stage when he clouted a chicane bale which broke the manifold, and then Slinger struck trouble. “The rear brakes locked-up under braking for a chicane and I was faced with a choice of destroying the chicane or taking to the grass,” he said.
He felt he was rather harshly treated when he was docked a 15-minute penalty for missing out the chicane.
That moved Richard Clews to third in his Subaru, but he wasn’t happy either. “The clutch failed at the start of SS3, but we’ve got no time to fix it,” he said.
BRC team boss Martin Wilkinson had been as high as third after three stages in his CA1 Sport Ford Escort Mk2, benefitting from the right tyres in wet conditions. But as things started to dry out he slipped back into the clutches of the similarly mounted Damian Cole. The mischievous Cole’s smile was in play over the final two stages as he converted his earlier sixth place to finish on the podium in third place.
Chris Ford had a fairly uneventful run into fourth place in his Subaru Impreza WRC pushing Wilkinson back into fifth, but Wilkinson was happy. He said: “This is my first time on Otterburn for 17 years and my first time using pacenotes since 1995!”
Stu Bainborough scored a sixth place finish, but only after he had put his Lancer E6 through a hedge – twice. “I slid off at the Flying Finish of stage nine, through a hedge and into a field,” he said. “But I couldn’t see the hole I had made so had to drive through it again to get back on the road!”
Alistair Hutchinson finished seventh in his Renault Clio, but only after one of the team had driven from Otterburn to Middleton in Teesdale to get two replacement rear hubs and discs for the car and then fit them during the lunch halt.
Mark Borthwick was eighth in his Escort Mk2, and Class B10 winner Chris Grieve scored a superb ninth place overall in his Peugeot 106. Rounding off the top 10 was the Mk2 Escort of Ross Brusby finishing second to Hutchinson in Class B11.
Stephen Bethwaite scored the Class B9 win in his Vauxhall Corsa despite a wrong tyre choice in the morning. “I saw the sun and put slicks on, then half way round it rained!” he said.
Bob Fowden posted the first retirement of the day when the Subaru suffered a repeat of its gearbox problems on the way from service to the first stage, and having thought all his electrical troubles were over with the Proton, Barry Renwick was sidelined with a fuel problem.