PAYNE WINS A FOURTH MALTON RALLY
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.