CLASS ROUND-UP

Motor Sport News - - MN Circuit Rally Championship - Peter Scherer

Joe Cun­ning­ham and Marc Fowler’s Vaux­hall Corsa had built up a 12-sec­ond lead in Class A af­ter two stages, but a gear se­lec­tion prob­lem on stage three left them with a 40-sec­ond deficit to ANWCC Cham­pi­onship lead­ers Gethin Jones/ To­mos Williams’ Vaux­hall Nova.

Jones held onto the lead un­til stage seven. “Then we went the wrong way,” he ex­plained, which left them 35 sec­onds down and handed Cun­ning­ham – the 2015/16 Class A champ – the spoils.

Mark An­ni­son/ian Humphrey’s Puma was third all day, with Aaron Rix/ Rob Cook’s Ford Ka oust­ing Sam/liam John­son’s SEAT Arosa when they spun on stage two. John­son was fifth with Craig As­ton/nick Baker’s Peu­geot 205 GTI sixth.

Diff fail­ure put pay to Ste­vie Ir­win/ Ian Mid­dle­ton’s hopes in Class B in their Vaux­hall Nova. By the end of stage three they were 42 sec­onds clear of Ryan Burns/steve Hall­mark’s Corsa. “We just lost drive,” said Ir­win. “It started on stage two and just wors­ened and was al­most pulling us off the track. It’s the sec­ond suc­ces­sive year it’s hap­pened too.”

Burns had moved into sec­ond from stage three, de­mot­ing the Peu­geot 106s of Chris Phillips/rhys Hughes’ and Barry Grant/emyr Hall.

Af­ter lead­ing the class for a cou­ple of stages, Burns was out too with gear­box and clutch prob­lems. Ben and An­drew Wilkin­son’s Citroen Saxo be­came the third class leader but they held on to take the spoils.

A strong fin­ish from EX-BTCC man Paul O’neill not only net­ted him sec­ond in a Paul Sheard-run Mazda MX-5, but brought them to within two sec­onds of snatch­ing a class win.

Chris Platt/ Mick Robin­son’s Vaux­hall Ti­gra was robbed of a class podium when their en­gine seized on stage six, leav­ing Phillips/ Hughes a clear third, from Jack Leese/tom Bowen’s Peu­geot 208, Grant/ Hall and Dave Johnstone/bruce Lind­say’s Peu­geot 205 GTI Kit Car.

Start­ing on slicks when ev­ery­one else went for wets was brave, but in the end it paid off for Joshua and Tam­syn Davey’s Dar­rian T90.

They led Class C all day, de­spite hav­ing spins on each of the first two stages. “We ended up on the grass on stage four too,” he added.

De­spite a 10-sec­ond penalty for a chi­cane in­dis­cre­tion on the last stage, he still took the class by al­most three min­utes from Eric Roberts/merfyn Williams’ Es­cort. “We didn’t have any power steer­ing for the first two stages,” said Roberts, but was still sec­ond in class from stage two.

Al­though Mike English/andy Robin­son’s Es­cort started well, their un­ex­plained loss of pace left them with fourth in class. Ben­jamin and Steven Smith man­aged to over­come gear­box prob­lems in their Peu­geot 205 GTI and re­tained third from stage three.

Eighth in Class C was an­other Bri­tish Tour­ing Car Cham­pi­onship ace Adam Mor­gan, while ver­sa­tile cir­cuit racer Nigel Green­sall was 15th in class. Both had swapped their reg­u­lar mounts for Paul Sheard-run Mazda MX-5S.

Event win­ner Proc­ter took the D2 class, Chris West won D1.

Cun­ning­ham/fowler starred

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