‘Pet­ter’s son Oliver Sol­berg takes ti­tle’

Motor Sport News - - Rally News - Dun­can Stephens

All Mark Hoppe needed was third place in order to com­plete his dou­ble, this time out win­ning the BTRDA Gold Star ti­tle on home soil as Wool­bridge Mo­tor Club hosted the fi­nal at Crewk­erne.

Si­mon Har­ris claimed the spoils in the best sup­ported front-wheel-drive class by 11 points, hav­ing led Gary Pre­ston by a sin­gle point at lunchtime. The su­pe­rior torque of Har­ris’s VW Golf told dur­ing the af­ter­noon. His ul­tra-smooth style helped open enough of a class lead to win the event over­all. But poor sea­sonal po­si­tions pre­vented him from win­ning the Gold Star, 20 years on from his last.

Henry Kitch­ing en­joyed a stun­ning morn­ing, sur­pris­ing by lead­ing over­all in the small new car class. He did slip back to sec­ond in class, how­ever, dur­ing the af­ter­noon de­spite some bril­liant driv­ing.

Hoppe and Dave Oliver had a ti­tanic bat­tle, trad­ing points. Hoppe held the lead af­ter the first eight dry steep hills, but slipped up to lead by only a point at lunch, whereby Oliver also made mis­takes, but then slowly closed the gap down to two points at the end of 32 sec­tions. Hoppe’s win and ex­pert bounc­ing by wife Michelle on the sec­ond hill net­ted him the ti­tle.

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