Gal­lagher starts BRC warm-up with 1600 win

Motor Sport News - - Src Snowman Report - Stephen Bruns­don

Ire­land’s Marty Gal­lagher came out on top in an en­thralling ral­ly­long bat­tle with Thomas Gray to win the 1600 cat­e­gory, the two crews sep­a­rated by one sec­ond at the end.

Let­terkenny’s Gal­lagher, in his Peu­geot 208 R2, used the Snowman to ready him­self ahead of a full-season of the Bri­tish cham­pi­onship this year and edged Gray’s Fi­esta R2 in the morn­ing’s slip­pery open­ing stage at Meall Mor by seven sec­onds.

Fresh from par­tic­i­pa­tion at last Novem­ber’s Rally GB Na­tional event, Gray took the fight to Gal­lagher in SS2, tak­ing back five sec­onds he lost prior to first ser­vice.

Gray logged quicker times on both SS4 (Con­tin) and the de­layed SS5 (Raven Rock) but was ul­ti­mately left frus­trated on the blast through the third stage at Strath Rory, where Gal­lagher took seven sec­onds to en­sure the nar­row­est of class wins.

Gal­lagher and co-driver Dean O’sullivan’s relief was ev­i­dent, the pair short on sub­stan­tial for­est driv­ing, hav­ing been con­signed to the Ir­ish Tar­mac of late.

A three-way scrap for Class 2 (1600 with eight valves or less) spoils be­came a two-man shoot-out be­tween Andy Chalmers and Rob­bie Beat­tie as erst­while leader Tom Howie re­tired his Tal­bot Sun­beam in the mid­dle of SS4. Chalmers in his 205 GTI blitzed Raven Rock to eclipse Beat­tie by 26 sec­onds for the win.

There were no such prob­lems for Neil Coal­ter in the 1400 class with the Sauchen lo­cal tak­ing a com­fort­able win in his Suzuki Swift, fin­ish­ing nearly nine min­utes clear of near­est ri­val, Steven Crock­ett.

Three-time Scot­tish Rally cham­pion Ken Wood turned out in his V6 Tri­umph Dolomite Sprint in the two-wheel-drive over two-litre class. De­spite a bent steer­ing arm, cour­tesy of an er­rant rock on SS1, Wood man­aged to fin­ish 3m56s ahead of the only other com­peti­tor in Class 8, Colin Camp­bell’s Sierra.

Jock Armstrong took Class 11 hon­ours in his newly reshelled TEG Sport Subaru Impreza. Iain Wil­son’s sim­i­lar Impreza was Class 10 win­ner with Cal­lum Atkin­son on the notes.

Dou­gal Brown/lewis Rochford and Fraser Mac­ni­col/keith Boa were Ford Es­cort Mk2 class win­ners in Class 7 and Class 4 re­spec­tively.

Three-time SRC champ Wood re­turned to win Class 8 in Dolomite

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