Autosport (UK)

Allen bosses rivals with back to front victory

- LUKE GURNEY

MALLORY PARK BARC/CMMC 18-19 MAY

Olly Allen produced the drive of the weekend at Mallory Park’s Classic & Modern Motorsport Festival event to storm through the entire combined Pre-’93 & Pre-’03 Touring Cars and Blue Oval Saloons field to take an impressive victory.

After crashing his Ford Fiesta Mk6 out of race one on Saturday, Blue Oval competitor Allen was forced to start at the back of the grid on Sunday with 22 cars in front of him. Yet that didn’t faze Allen, who battled his way through, setting fastest lap after fastest lap. By the closing stages, he had caught the Ford Escort Mk2 of leader Piers Grange, who had triumphed in race one the day before. Allen managed to squeeze past him on the final lap with only two corners to go, prompting scenes of jubilation greeting him from his team as he returned to the paddock.

The Pre-’83 Touring Cars also provided some exhilarati­ng action. After taking pole in qualifying, Mark Cholerton was forced to retire his Ford Escort RS2000 with an engine issue after just one lap of the opener. Instead, multiple champion Stephen Primett, who started third in his Escort Mk1, took the victory by a just 0.252 seconds, fighting off a late Jonathan Corker attack in his Datsun 510. But Corker got the better of Primett second time around to end the weekend with a win.

There was further close racing among the Hyundai Coupe Cup contenders.

Daniel Munro and Neale Hurren battled it out at the front of the opener, with Munro sealing the victory with a gap of just 0.965s separating the two. Munro had another narrow victory in the sequel, this time defeating Mark Ridout by just over a second.

Munro’s tight triumphs were in contrast to some of the single-seater contests. Current 500cc Formula 3 leader Alex Wilson extended his advantage with victories in both races in his Cooper Mk10. In race two, Wilson’s dominance was so strong he finished over a minute ahead of second-placed Xavier Kingsland’s Staride, which just pipped JB Jones and Richard Fuller to the runner-up spot. Had the 15-minute contest lasted one more tour, then Wilson would have lapped the entire

field. His winning margin was a slightly smaller 48s in the opener, this time over Finlay Mackintosh’s Cooper Mk11.

Another double winner was Tom Hawkins (Swift SC95) in the Super Classic Formula Ford 1600 bouts, while the MG Owners’ Club Championsh­ip was dominated by Steve Mcdermid in his ZR 170, which was victorious by 12s on each occasion. Dan Lewis was another driver to bag a brace as his Mini twice prevailed over larger machinery in the Pre-’66 Touring Car encounters.

The Classic & Historic Thunder Saloons were the first to take to the track, but got the weekend’s proceeding­s off to a shaky start when the race was red-flagged following a collision at Gerard’s. Once the race resumed, it only lasted a short three laps before the chequered flag was shown with the racing schedule at risk, after another car ground to a halt on the final corner in a dangerous position. Nick Vaughan (Audi A3) was declared the winner, while Colin Voyce’s Escort topped race two, which ran to its full distance.

 ?? ?? Fiesta man Allen hunted down and passed Grange (right) on last lap
Fiesta man Allen hunted down and passed Grange (right) on last lap
 ?? ?? Munro and Hurren had close Coupe Cup scrap
Munro and Hurren had close Coupe Cup scrap
 ?? ??

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