Mor­ris un­seats Fi­esta debu­tant Smith as con­di­tions im­prove

Motor Sport News - - Rally Report - By Peter Scherer

Tommy Mor­ris and Colin Hark­ness took vic­tory on the Jack Neal Me­mo­rial Rally, but were em­broiled in a tough bat­tle with Peter Smith/gra­ham Wild’s Ford Fi­esta R5 through­out.

As the weather wors­ened, Smith took charge and led from stage four, un­seat­ing Mor­ris.

The lead had grown to 15 sec­onds by the end of stage six, when the rain fi­nally stopped and Mor­ris fought back. De­spite a cou­ple of small offs on the penul­ti­mate stage, he started the last only five sec­onds down and clinched vic­tory by four.

Mark Roberts/stephen Lan­den’s Ford Es­cort Cos­worth held onto third all day, de­spite a spin on the open­ing stage. They broke a front drive­shaft on stage seven, picked up mud on the tyres as they headed for the stage eight start and spun at the first cor­ner.

In fourth, Mike English/john Dar­ling­ton were the first twowheel-drive en­try and re­tained a day-long fourth to take the Class 3 spoils, but also had a big spin on stage three.

For the first eight stages, Daniel Sim­cock/ben Richard­son’s Mit­subishi Lancer E6 had man­aged to con­sol­i­date fifth place on the driver’s sec­ond ever rally, but a wrong slot on the penul­ti­mate stage dropped them to 10th.

Mick Pick­les/bev­er­ley War­ren’s Peu­geot 205 GTI started the day in eighth, but hav­ing ousted Stu­art Pop­plewell/nigel Bar­ber’s SEAT Ibiza on stage two, they were into sixth a stage later af­ter Chris Mar­shall/si­mon Hunter’s Lancer E5 spun. Fol­low­ing Sim­cock’s demise, Pick­les claimed fifth with Mar­shall com­plet­ing the top six.

Mor­ris took 6R4 to vic­tory as Smith’s Fi­esta switch failed to pay off

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