BRI­TISH HIS­TORIC RALLY CHAMPIONSHIP

Bar­rett bounces back to top the Red Kite on Round 4 of the rally se­ries.

Classic Ford - - CONTENTS -

The fourth round takes to the dusty Red Kite Stages.

P aul Bar­rett and new co-driver, Will Rogers fought back from early de­lays to scoop max­i­mum points in round four of the Fuchs Lubri­cants MSA Bri­tish His­toric Rally Championship, the Red Kite Stages.

As the event took ral­ly­ing back into the forests of South Wales for the first time in four years, a fab­u­lous bat­tle raged for BHRC points be­hind rally win­ner Osian Pryce. Just 42 se­conds cov­ered the top seven championship fin­ish­ers and Bar­rett/ Rogers scythed ahead of Si­mon Web­ster/ Jez Rogers to score a last stage vic­tory. In a dra­matic fin­ish, Steve Bennett/Osian Owen edged Web­ster back to fourth by a sin­gle se­cond, while only one se­cond down on Bennett was an­other Mk2 Escort in the hands of Ryan Bar­rett/Paul McCann.

Cat­e­gory vic­to­ries went to Chris Skill/ Tom Mur­phy (Mk1 Escort) and Mal­colm Rich/Ar­wel Blainey (Anglia) on a day when high speed stages and hang­ing dust made con­di­tions chal­leng­ing. How­ever, the lit­tle-used stages drew rave re­views from the crews, many of whom were tackling these forests for the first time.

As well as be­ing the fourth of eight BHRC rounds, the Red Kite Stages was also the fourth round of the BHRC For­est Chal­lenge, sup­ported by Rally & Com­pe­ti­tion Equip­ment, and was the fourth event for the new BHRC2, sup­ported by Sher­wood En­gines.

Bar­rett and Web­ster opened their bat­tle by set­ting the same time in the first Cry­nant stage, but it changed in stage two in Re­sol­ven when Bar­rett col­lected a front punc­ture and drove out on it, los­ing about 20 se­conds. Rudi Lan­caster/Guy Weaver also punc­tured, but up into con­tention came Bennett/Owen and Ryan Bar­rett/Paul McCann.

Af­ter service came a sin­gle run at 9 miles in Margam, and Bennett was a strong se­cond as punc­tures struck Web­ster, who lost at least 20 se­conds, and both Bar­retts. Af­ter a se­cond visit to service, Bar­rett went on the at­tack for the re-run of the first two stages.

Start­ing the de­cid­ing Glyn Cas­tle stage, three se­conds cov­ered the top trio and Bar­rett con­tin­ued his at­tack to grab max­i­mum BHRC points from Bennett and Web­ster as 10 se­conds de­cided the BHRC top three. Ryan Bar­rett joined the party by get­ting to within a se­cond of Web­ster.

Lan­caster de­served more than points for fifth af­ter a punc­ture and a clutch is­sue, and he was chased home by the lead­ing two Pinto’d Mk2 Es­corts from class D3. De­spite the driver feel­ing un­well, Stu­art Eg­gle­stone and Brian Hodgson did it again but this time it was very close as Ben Friend and Cliffy Sim­mons were just 7 se­conds adrift af­ter a day-long scrap. Friend capped his day with third fastest time in Bryn but sadly off the road in the morn­ing went class con­tenders, Josh Browne and Jane Edg­ing­ton.

While Bar­rett/Rogers topped the Rally and Com­pe­ti­tion Equip­ment Cat­e­gory 3, it was Chris Skill and Tom Mur­phy who took a great win in the Skip­ton Ford Cat­e­gory 2 with a per­for­mance that took them in­side the top 10 over­all. How­ever, Skill was re­lieved to make the fin­ish with an ail­ing diff.

BHRC2 sup­ported by Sher­wood En­gines

The Red Kite Stages was the fourth round of the BHRC2, sup­ported by Sher­wood En­gines.

The value and sta­tus of BHRC2 was ably demon­strated as the top three cars were cov­ered by just 11 se­conds af­ter a glo­ri­ous bat­tle at the head of class C2. Eliot Re­tal­lick and Tim Tug­well badly wanted a fin­ish and bat­tled back from a cau­tious start to grab the class over the sim­i­lar car of Ken Gra­ham/Rory McCann and the Mk1 Escort of Robin Shut­tle­worth/Ron­nie Roug­head. But any one of the three crews could have been on top af­ter a fan­tas­tic con­test.

The re­sult of Cat­e­gory 1 changed within sight of the end of the fi­nal stage when Rikki Prof­fitt and Gra­ham Wild were nearly a minute ahead un­til a front wheel came loose. With just three cor­ners of the fi­nal stage to go, their rally was over.

In­stead, Mal­colm Rich and Ar­wel Blainey swept by to win Cat­e­gory 1 af­ter an at­tack­ing drive in the Anglia. Bob Bean and Miles Cartwright (Lo­tus Cortina) were half a minute adrift af­ter a slightly off-colour rally, but still clear of the Volvo Ama­zon of Ken Davies and Alun Jones.

Words and Pho­tos Paul Lawrence Round 4: Red Kite Stages, June 24 Paul Bar­rett and Will Rogers pushed hard to take Round 4 hon­ours in their Mk2 Escort (above), while the Lo­tus Cortina of Bob Bean and Miles Cartwright was se­cond in Cat­e­gory 1 (top).

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