Welsh driver con­quers New Zealand event

Motor Sport News - - Historics - By Paul Lawrence Pho­tos: Paul Lawrence

Welsh­men Meirion Evans and Iestyn Wil­liams won the week-long Sil­ver Fern His­toric Rally in New Zealand on their first at­tempt at the event.

The Ford Es­cort Mk2 crew were 45s ahead when the sur­vivors ar­rived at the fin­ish in Christchurch on Sun­day af­ter­noon af­ter a per­fectly judged per­for­mance.

“The roads here are just amaz­ing,” said Evans, af­ter the big­gest win of his ca­reer in his self-pre­pared car. “On the last day we had just got to con­cen­trate and bring it home for Wales.”

To cap a strong event for UK crews, Phil Squires and Nigel Hutchin­son (Es­cort Mk2) fin­ished fourth in the his­toric sec­tion. “The speeds are in­cred­i­ble,” said Squires af­ter his sec­ond con­sec­u­tive top 10 fin­ish. Other Bri­tish crews were in con­tention for the lead un­til hit­ting prob­lems. Si­mon Tysoe and Paul Mor­ris led in the early stages, but lost a lot of time with a roll on day two. They re­cov­ered to fin­ish 10th, but Matthew Robin­son and Sam Col­lis even­tu­ally re­tired the Fiat 131 with elec­tri­cal dra­mas af­ter show­ing strong pace.

It was not all plain sail­ing for Evans as an off on stage four could have cost them vic­tory. They lost three min­utes af­ter putting the car on its side. “Just a lit­tle lapse of con­cen­tra­tion,” said Evans of the in­ci­dent.

“It’s been an ad­ven­ture and I can’t thank ev­ery­one enough, par­tic­u­larly the guys who came with me to ser­vice. It’s been such a team ef­fort,” said Evans at the fin­ish in Christchurch.

Squires took fourth in Ford Evans/wil­liams beat an off to take glory

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