‘Wood­house led from stage two’

Motor Sport News - - Historics - By Peter Scherer

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 hon­ours

Pho­tos: Kevin Money

NHMC Cad­well Stages

Quigley’s Clio Cup car took the win in Class C, as well as fifth over­all

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