HOPE-DAVIES OVERTURNS THE DEFICIT FOR TI­TLE

Motor Sport News - - Sporting Scene - By Hal Ridge

Or­gan­iser: DDMC/ BTRDA When: Novem­ber 5 Where: Croft Cir­cuit, North York­shire Starters: 79.

Welsh­man Jeff Hope-davies over­hauled ti­tle ri­val Brian Hard­man to se­cure the over­all BTRDA Club­mans Ral­ly­cross Cham­pi­onship crown in the sea­son fi­nale at Croft.

Hard­man en­tered the fi­nal round at the head of the over­all points, as he had been for much of the sea­son.

But, as Hope-davies qual­i­fied on pole po­si­tion for the Pro­duc­tion A fi­nal in his Citroen Saxo and fin­ished the race sec­ond, a Q3 crash in the His­toric class re­sulted in dam­age to the front of Hard­man’s Ford Es­cort and he could only fin­ish the fi­nal in eighth place.

Su­per­mod­i­fied vic­tory in the last do­mes­tic ral­ly­cross event of the sea­son went the way of Croft lo­cal Guy Cor­ner. He passed Bel­gian vet­eran Jos Sterkens on the sec­ond lap for sec­ond, and then passed fast-starter Al­lan Tap­scott for the lead. Vaux­hall Corsa driver Tap­scott then spun out of con­tention as a re­sult.

Su­per1600 racer Michael Boak qual­i­fied his Citroen C2 on pole po­si­tion but dropped to fifth on the open­ing lap. The Ge­ordie driver passed B fi­nal win­ner Sla­womir Woloch on lap two, be­fore gain­ing an­other po­si­tion when Tap­scott spun.

As Sterkens hit a course marker right at the fin­ish line, Boak climbed to sec­ond and Sterkens fin­ished the race back­wards with bro­ken sus­pen­sion, with the rest of the field forced to take avoid­ing ac­tion. Boak’s team-mate Phil Chicken fin­ished eighth and claimed the Su­per­mod­i­fied crown.

Re­nault Clio racer Ed­die Gibbs took the lead of the Pro­duc­tion fi­nal at the start and headed cham­pion-elect HopeDavies through­out. John Gaskin started on the out­side of the front row and chal­lenged for the lead at turn one but spun. He climbed back up the or­der but re­moved both him­self and Juozas Meskauskas from con­tention with an ex­u­ber­ant first-cor­ner move on the penul­ti­mate tour. Driv­ing a bor­rowed Citroen Saxo, Dave Mar­tin com­pleted the podium. With Hope-davies tak­ing over­all BTRDA hon­ours, sixth for Gra­ham Rum­sey was enough for the Saxo racer to take the class ti­tle.

Bri­tish Cham­pi­onship Su­per­car racer Andy Grant won the Club­man 4x4 (Su­per­car) fi­nal ahead of Roger Thomas, the sec­ond-place man mak­ing his first ap­pear­ance in a Ford Fo­cus Su­per­car and he se­cured the class ti­tle. Mike Man­ning dived down the in­side at turn one to climb to third, but re­tired with tech­ni­cal prob­lems af­ter be­ing passed by Mad Mark Wat­son.

Dan Beat­tie took top Pro­duc­tion 4x4 hon­ours in the same race af­ter a fran­tic bat­tle, as Paul Davis took the ti­tle.

As his fa­ther had in Club­man 4x4, Michael Grant dom­i­nated the His­toric fi­nal, lead­ing from lights-to-flag with his Ford Fi­esta. David Ewin fin­ished sec­ond in a rear-wheel-drive ver­sion of Ford’s hatch­back and cel­e­brated with a spin over the fin­ish line, while 205 cam­paigner Ryan Stutch­bury moved to third when Dar­ren Grim­ston re­tired on the loose sec­tion with a lap to run. While he missed out on the over­all Club­mans ti­tle, eighth in the fi­nale was enough for Hard­man to take the class crown.

Jaidon Ben­nett led the Ju­nior fi­nal on the open­ing lap, fend­ing off pres­sure from James Con­stan­tine, but Tom Con­stan­tine over­hauled the pair to claim vic­tory and the ti­tle as Mor­gan Wroot fin­ished sec­ond and James Con­stan­tine com­pleted the podium. Steven Bell won the Au­tocross fi­nal.

Hope-davies claimed the BTRDA crown

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