Motor Sport News - - Rally News - By Peter Scherer

Or­gan­iser: Mal­ton MC &Clitheroe & DMC When: No­vem­ber 4 Where: North York­shire Cham­pi­onships: North­ern His­toric, ANCC, ANECCC, ANEMMC, EMAMC, SD34 Stage & In­ter League Stages: 6 Starters: 89

For the fourth suc­ces­sive year, Char­lie Payne and Carl Wil­liamson proved un­beat­able on the Mal­ton Rally, but their Ford Fi­esta had to see off a strong chal­lenge from Ol­lie Mel­lors and Ian Win­dress’ Pro­ton Iriz R5 first.

On the open­ing Crop­ton stage, Mel­lors pulled out a five-sec­ond lead over Payne, who shared sec­ond place with Stephen Petch/michael Wilkin­son’s Fi­esta RS WRC.

All three are past win­ners of the rally, and soon be­gan to ease their bat­tle away from the pur­suers. But Mel­lors had in­creased the lead to seven sec­onds af­ter Gale Rigg, be­fore Payne re­sponded. “We just changed tyres af­ter the first two and it made all the dif­fer­ence,” said Payne.

Payne was quick­est through Lang­dale as they com­pleted the first leg, re­duc­ing Mel­lors’ ad­van­tage to three sec­onds as the lead pair edged away from Petch, although the lat­ter was safe in third.

Be­hind, the Subaru Im­prezas of Richard Hill/stef­fan Evans’ and Ian Bain­bridge/daniel May tied fourth, af­ter both had ousted Dan Men­nell/ Tom Rodgers’ Im­preza. “I was tak­ing too many risks but then backed off too much,” Men­nell ad­mit­ted, af­ter drop­ping to sev­enth be­hind Matthew Robin­son/sam Col­lis’ Es­cort too.

With two more sec­onds off his lead on the re­turn to Crop­ton, Mel­lors’s gap was down to a soli­tary sec­ond. “I was go­ing as fast as I could, the car was fan­tas­tic and we had no prob­lems at all,” he said. But by the end of the sec­ond Gale Rigg stage the lead had been turned into a seven-sec­ond deficit, with Payne fi­nally tak­ing vic­tory by 11 sec­onds.

Petch also had a trou­ble­free run to re­tain third but, hav­ing gone clear in fourth, Hill joined the re­tire­ments on stage five, which handed the place to Bain­bridge.

De­spite a punc­ture on stage four, Men­nell re­claimed fifth, while Robin­son com­pleted the top six and was first two-wheel drive and His­toric en­try. Matt Ed­wards/hamish Camp­bell’s Fiat 131 had an early clutch prob­lem, but hav­ing solved that a later ex­haust mal­ady was joined by the car “jump­ing out of gear”. He still closed on Robin­son in the last cou­ple of stages, hav­ing de­moted Steve Ban­nis­ter/cal­lum Atkin­son’s Es­cort on stage four. Peter Smith/john Milling­ton’s Fi­esta and Petr Krizan/lukas Sin­tal’s Mit­subishi Lancer E9 com­pleted the top 10.

Steve Black/paul Mor­ris’ Suzuki Swift was never headed in Class 1, but the duel for Class 2 be­tween Ben Cree/shaun Wil­son’s Peu­geot 205 GTI and Barry Lind­say/caro­line Lodge’s Peu­geot 206, fi­nally went in Lind­say’s favour, aided by Cree col­lect­ing road penal­ties.

De­spite a rear punc­ture on the last stage, David Crossen/aileen Kelly’s Es­cort still re­tained the day­long lead in Class 3, while Nigel Cay/fred Roberts’ Vaux­hall Chevette topped Class 4.

Re­sults 1 Char­lie Payne/ Carl Wil­liamson (Ford Fi­esta RS WRC) 37m08s; 2 Ol­lie Mel­lors/ Ian Win­dress (Pro­ton Iriz R5) +11s; 3 Stephen Petch/ Michael Wilkin­son (Fi­esta RS WRC); 4 Ian Bain­bridge/ Daniel May (Subaru Im­preza); 5 Daniel Men­nell/tom Rodgers (Im­preza); 6 Matthew Robin­son/ Sam Col­lis (Ford Es­cort Mk2); 7 Matt Ed­wards/ Hamish Camp­bell (Fiat 131); 8 Steve Ban­nis­ter/ Cal­lum Atkin­son (Es­cort Mk2); 9 Peter Smith/john Milling­ton (Fi­esta R5); 10 Petr Krizan/ Lukas Sin­tal (Mit­subishi E9).

Class win­ners: Steve Black/ Paul Mor­ris (Suzuki Swift); Barry Lind­say/ Caro­line Lodge (Peu­geot 206); David Crossen/aileen Kelly (Ford Es­cort Mk2); Nigel Cay/ Fred Roberts (Vaux­hall Chevette); Stu­art Cariss/ Linda Cariss (Es­cort Mk1); Robin­son/ Col­lis.

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