Rock­ing­ham Stages

Motor Sport News - - Rally Reports -

Yates was al­ready 33 sec­onds up af­ter the first two runs, hav­ing made an im­me­di­ate change to harder tyres for the sec­ond stage.

The Ford Es­cort Mk2 of Paul Swift and Pa­trick Walsh had its first stage ad­van­tage of four sec­onds halved by Ed­wards, even though the Dar­rian driver man­aged to skirt a tyre wall on stage two.

While Paul King/ali­cia Miles’ Es­cort was a fur­ther three sec­onds adrift in fourth, Alex Can­non/ray Keith’s Subaru Im­preza be­gan to fall down the or­der as the track dried out, pro­mot­ing Steve Quigley/peter Lit­tle­field’s Re­nault Clio.

With Yates con­tin­u­ing to ease away, the fight for sec­ond in­ten­si­fied, with only a sec­ond cover­ing Ed­wards, King and Swift. But Ed­wards had gear change prob­lems on stage three. “It was an ECU prob­lem so I had to use a man­ual change,” he ex­plained. Swift had also lost time af­ter clip­ping a chi­cane on the same stage.

With Quigley de­lay­ing his change to harder tyres, he dropped down the or­der, pro­mot­ing the Es­corts of Alan Kirkaldy/cameron Fair and Cad­well Park win­ners Ian Wood­house/paul Row­land.

One stage was run in the dark be­fore the overnight halt, but it caused prob­lems for the rally leader. “I had re­set the dash dis­play and went into a chi­cane side by side with Quigley,” Yates ex­plained. “I thought I was through and then locked up and hit the chi­cane.” The er­ror re­sulted in an overnight ra­di­a­tor change.

King had man­aged to build a three­sec­ond cush­ion over Swift for sec­ond, af­ter his ri­val had the co-driver’s door fly open at 100mph. Ed­wards lost out too and found him­self only two sec­onds up on Kirkaldy, af­ter his fel­low Scot had set the fastest time on the stage.

Yates had an un­trou­bled run through Sun­day’s six stages to se­cure the win by 2m53 secs, while the morn­ing be­gan with Swift back into sec­ond, from King and Ed­wards.

But tyre choice played its part again, as King stayed on soft com­pounds and fell to fifth on stage eight, while Ed­wards opened a 10-sec­ond gap over Kirkaldy for sec­ond and Swift dropped to fourth.

Ed­wards con­tin­ued to con­sol­i­date sec­ond place, as did Kirkaldy in third but, go­ing into the fi­nal stage, Swift had only a sec­ond in hand over King, which was re­versed on the fi­nal run.

Hav­ing played catch up af­ter clout­ing a chi­cane on the open­ing stage, Wood­house com­pleted the top six, 30 sec­onds be­hind Swift.

In Class 1 David Coatsworth/ Thomas Bruce’s MG ZR took the spoils af­ter trail­ing Adrian May­all/ Rob Hay­den’s Alfa Romeo 33 for the first two stages. But af­ter be­ing flagged down on stage three and hav­ing a no­tional time given for stage five, May­all was left in third be­hind Alan Kit­son/ron Aspin­wall’s Sun­beam Imp.

Wil­liam Hill/richard Crozier’s Fi­esta R2 briefly lost the Class 2 lead to Bryan Whale/garry Whit­ting­ton’s Vaux­hall Nova, but was in charge again from stage five. Mark and John Bur­ton’s XR2 was a dis­tant sec­ond af­ter Whale blew the headgas­ket.

Quigley’s Clio was ninth over­all and led Dar­ryl Mor­ris/steve Gully’s Es­cort in Class 3 all week­end, while Ed­wards took Class 4 over Kirkaldy and King.

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