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Motor Sport News - - Rally Reports - By Davide­vans Photo: Kevin Money By­davide­vans Re­sults

Or­gan­iser: Clitheroe and District MC When: Novem­ber 26 Where: Bly­ton Park, Lin­colnshire Cham­pi­onships ANCC; ANWCC; ANEMMC; SD34 MSG; EMAMC Stages: 8 Starters: 72

In an event thwarted by fog, re­tire­ments for both Jamie El­ston and Ge­off Roberts handed Tommy Mor­ris and Ian Em­mer­son a late Hall Tro­phy vic­tory in their MG Metro 6R4.

El­ston and co-driver Shaun Ridling­ton threw down the gaunt­let from the start in their home-built Subaru Im­preza, the pair man­ag­ing to pull out a 5s lead on the open­ing two stages. Roberts and co-driver Terry Martin’s Dar­rian T90 headed the pur­suit, with a cou­ple of sec­onds in hand over Graeme Bell/russ Rad­ford’s MEM Pro­ton-milling­ton.

Mor­ris ran first on the road but was hav­ing tyre prob­lems. “They were just too hard,” he ex­plained af­ter set­tling into fourth spot.

The fog be­gan to de­scend as stage three got un­der way but that did lit­tle to put off El­ston, who dou­bled his lead. Mor­ris climbed to third though af­ter Bell locked up at the fi­nal chi­cane and stalled. Stephen Har­vey/jeff Simm were early re­tirees, when their eighth­placed Im­preza lost sec­ond gear.

The lead­ing six crews held sta­tion on stage four, but the first ma­jor de­vel­op­ment was to come on the next stage. With the fog lift­ing, Roberts opted for new tyres and in­her­ited the lead, as a bro­ken rear drive­shaft forced El­ston to pull out.

That handed the Dar­rian crew a 15s lead over Mor­ris, who had fi­nally be­gan to edge away from the Ford Es­cort Mk2 of Martin Hodg­son and Tony Jones.

There was one more stage be­fore the fog be­gan to de­scend again. While the top three be­gan to set­tle, Bell had shot back up to fourth at the ex­pense of Adrian Atkin­son/dave Ri­ley (Mit­subishi Lancer E6).

Four more stages had been planned, but af­ter the eighth the fog be­gan to thicken again – bring­ing the rally to a pre­ma­ture end. That came just too late for Roberts, though, who painfully re­tired when his lead­ing Dar­rian en­coun­tered gear­box mal­adies.

“I spun at the hair­pin and af­ter that it wouldn’t come down the box again,” said Roberts.

Mor­ris also over­shot in the fad­ing vis­i­bil­ity, but still had 14 sec­onds in hand over Hodg­son to take the vic­tory, af­ter at­tempts to run stage nine were aban­doned when two cars col­lided. Bell com­pleted the podium with Atkin­son fi­nally set­tling a three-way fight for fourth.

Alis­tair/joe Hutchin­son (Re­nault Clio) led the class for 1601-2000cc cars all day from Mick Pick­les/bev­er­ley War­ren’s Peugeot 205, with Stu­art Di­a­per/roy Bell’s Es­cort a clear third.

David Duff/an­drew Kel­lett’s Es­cort led the 1401-1600cc class early on but had to set­tle for third be­hind David White/ David Sco­rah’s Fi­esta R2 and Chris/ James Greenall’s Nova, while Jonathan Hud­son and Adi Collins’ Suzuki Swift took Class 1 spoils for cars up to 1400cc.

11

“Peugeot is the first one of course be­cause it was the Group B car, some­thing that is dif­fer­ent to to­day’s cars. It was like noth­ing I’d ever driven be­fore. I’d never driven a four­wheel-drive car [be­fore driv­ing the 205 T16]. It was like a rocket! It was so light so it was very easy to drive but to han­dle the power at the same time was dif­fi­cult. I got to han­dle it quite well. Monte Carlo 1986 was the first event, I was lead­ing af­ter four or five stages and then the turbo pipe came off ! We lost min­utes but still fin­ished fifth.

“Those are very good mem­o­ries, and of course we won the cham­pi­onship, so what bet­ter mem­ory is there?”

R2: 3rd R3: 1st

Mor­ris/em­mer­son won af­ter late re­tire­ments Hall Tro­phy

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