‘Woodhouse led from stage two’
Organiser: North Humberside Motor Club When: November 20 Where: Cadwell Park, Lincolnshire Championship: Motorsport News Circuit Rally Championship Stages: 8 Starters: 85
Ian Woodhouse and Paul Rowland took their Ford Escort Mk2 to a comfortable victory in the second round of the Motorsport News Circuit Rally Championship, having led from the second stage of the day after early pacesetters John Stone/carl Williamson crashed heavily in their Ford Fiesta S2500.
The wet and miserable conditions seemed to benefit the Escorts, as Paul and Jessica Swift moved ahead of Steve Quigley/paul Littlefield’s Renault Clio into second from stage three. Quigley had earlier been lucky to avoid a collision on the opening stage when Mark Kelly crashed out and left debris in the Clio’s path.
Bruce Edwards/jim Smith’s Darrian T9 GTR had been level with Swift after two stages, but ended the third six seconds adrift in fourth, with Martin Hodgson/tony Jones’ Escort and Mark Jasper/don Whyatt’s Proton Millington completing the early top six.
A lengthy delay after Kelly’s off and a shorter one to remove Stone’s car caused the cancellation of stage four and dusk was already closing in as they lined up for the start of stage five.
Swift took two seconds out of Woodhouse’s lead and continued to consolidate second over Quigley. But Edwards’ hold on fourth had begun to come under threat from Will Owen/ Rob Hopewell’s Escort. “It’s our first time here,” said Owen. “We were on the rev limiter and had the wrong tyres on for the first two stages.”
They weren’t the only crew on the move though, as Arron Newby/gary Tomlinson’s Subaru Impreza moved into sixth at Hodgson’s expense. “I had an off on stage one, then the power steering failed and there was a little excursion on stage three before we began to settle,” Newby added.
Three stages remained, but after more than half of the remaining field had completed the final run, it was cancelled after Tom Blackwood/ Gordon Winning’s Escort had partially blocked the stage.
Woodhouse therefore took the win by 21 seconds. “It was a challenging day, but we tried to be smooth and consistent, even though we started the last stage not knowing what our lead was,” he said.
Paul Swift, meanwhile, was happy to finish a clear second.
“We nearly went off at the first corner of the last stage, so we decided to back off as we had nothing to gain and a lot to lose,” he explained.
Newby had managed to snatch third on the last stage with the fastest first run, but the stage cancellation handed the place back to Owen, while Quigley and Hodgson completed the top six.
Aaron Rix/rob Cook won Class A in their Ford Ka, after early leaders Ken Sturdy/richard Wood’s Vauxhall Nova and the MG ZR of David Coatsworth/thomas Bruce retired with fuel pump failure and a broken gearbox, respectively. Sam Johnson/ Joe Morgan’s SEAT Arosa was seven seconds adrift in second.
In Class B Paul Sheard/toby Marshall’s Mazda MX-5 led until the final two night stages, with Mark and John Burton’s Ford Fiesta XR2 snatching the spoils, as Matt Wood/ Pete Kettle’s Vauxhall Corsa retained third throughout the day.
Quigley’s Clio was never headed in Class C, but having run in the top 10 overall all day, Tom Walster/peter Shaw’s Suzuki Swift retained second in class and ninth overall, despite breaking a driveshaft on the cancelled final stage. Newby was the class 6 victor.
Josh and Tommy Mcerlean’s Peugeot 107 was the junior winner, with Ewan Tindall/paul Hudson’s Citroen C1 and the Nissan Micra of Tommi Meadows and Gareth Hooper holding station all day in the other podium places.
Woodhouse/rowland took Cadwell honoursPhotos: Kevin Money
NHMC Cadwell Stages