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Tour of Flanders - 11-12 Sep 10

Posted: September 14, 2010 7:29 PM - 4668 Hits

Round 7 - 2010 MSA British Historic Rally Championship

Live Results: Tour of Flanders

Wright impresses on Belgian debut

Posted: September 14, 2010 7:29 PM

2010 Kick Energy Fiesta SportTrophy Ireland (FST IE) champion Stephen Wright finished 23rd overall and a solid fourth on the penultimate round of the 2010 Fiesta SportTrophy Belgium series last weekend, the Tour of Flanders Rally. Wright was competing on the event in a M-Sport prepared Fiesta R2 as his prize for winning the 2010 FST IE series.

Having only competed in a left hand drive car once before Wright made a steady start to the event posting the seventh fastest FST time on the opening two stages which took place on Friday night. In the daylight on day two Wright steadily improved his pace and posted several top three stages times as he became more familiar with the Fiesta R2 and the Belgian tarmac stages. Wright finished the event fourth in the FST standings and eighth in a competitive R2 field, which included JWRC front-runner Hans Weis-Junior and FST Belgium champion Cederic De-Cecco. The result impressed many of the local regulars, especially given Wright's little experience competing outside of his native Ireland.

2010 Kick Energy FST Ireland Champion, Stephen Wright, said:
"We are delighted with the way everything went during the event. On such a specialised rally in an unfamiliar car we didn't have any expectations but the car was a pleasure to drive and the stages were fantastic. It took time to adjust but we were constantly improving. I have to thank M-Sport for providing such a great prize and a great car and everyone who has helped us achieve it. I must also thank the FST Belgium organisers for their warm welcome and hospitality over the course of the weekend."

BHRC report, round seven: Historic Tour of Flanders

Posted: September 14, 2010 7:26 PM

Category victories for Will Onions/David Williams, David Stokes/Guy Weaver and Dessie Nutt/Geraldine McBride were the headlines from the Historic Tour of Flanders (10/11 September), the penultimate round of the Dunlop/WONAGO.com MSA British Historic Rally Championship.
As ever, the Belgian event was a challenge and with the bulk of the competitive motoring crammed into one long day on Saturday, it was a tough event with a string of retirements.
In championship terms, Jonathan Gale and James Whitaker still head the points despite a non-finish in Belgium, but Stokes and Weaver are now in a strong position to clinch the crown if they can win again on the final round.

Category 1
A steady run on Friday evening put Nutt/McBride on the back foot going into Saturday, but they soon had the Porsche 911 buzzing along and moved ahead of the Sunbeam Tiger of Gale/Whitaker in another nip and tuck contest. The Porsche was 12s ahead when Gale's rally came to an end on Zilverburg 2 after the Tiger slid through a fence into a field.
"The marshal wouldn't let us go out through the gate and we did the damage trying to get back out," said Gale after hitting a culvert and damaging the radiator.

"It's never over 'til it's over," said Nutt with four stages to run, but he could now measure his pace into Saturday evening and they duly returned to Roeselare as resounding winners in category one.
It took a superhuman effort from Rikki Proffitt and Bob Duck to take second in the category after electrical gremlins threatened to put their Porsche 911 out on Saturday morning. Luckily, another crew offered a spare coil just before the Porsche went OTL and they fought on at an impressive pace, trading times with Nutt on some stages.
Into third for their eighth Flanders finish in nine events went Alan Honess and Tim Sayer in their Ford Cortina GT, but the smaller-engined category one cars were out of luck. Mike Barratt and Jody Watson should have heeded the signs when their recce car broke down an hour from home, and their fortunes did not improve when the Sunbeam Stiletto overheated into retirement on Saturday morning. Meanwhile, a failing head gasket prevented Peter Horsburgh and Graham Carter from re-starting their Mini Cooper on Saturday morning.

Category 2
The drama in category two started early on Friday when Jeremy Easson and Alun Cook crashed heavily in their Escort Mk1 and Easson was left in hospital with a back injury. On the lapped Beveren stage they caught the misfiring Escort Mk1 of Frank Cunningham/Ryland James and when trying to pass, Easson's car nosed into a hidden culvert and flipped end over end.
Up front, Stokes/Weaver were on the pace immediately, knowing that nothing less than category victory would do in their pursuit of the title. However, the late arrival of a Mk1 Escort for Steven Smith and Phil Spurge gave Stokes another issue to contend with in his quest for points.
Saturday proved to be a perfect day for Stokes and Weaver as car and crew ran like clockwork to extend their lead as Smith/Spurge battled hard for second with Chris Browne and Liz Jordan. With two stages to run, Stokes had over a minute in hand and duly swept home for a resounding win.
"We did what we came here to do," said Stokes after a tremendous performance.
Browne was a worthy second for his best result of the season despite a major last stage scare when he lost the spotlights. But Smith could not take advantage as he finished the rally with a brake pedal that had gone to the floor.
Class C3 victory with some top six stage times was a fine result for Andrew Siddall and Captain Thompson, but it nearly went wrong for them when they put the Escort Mk1 into a ditch on the opening stage. However, with the stage cancelled for Easson's accident, spectators got Siddall's car out of the ditch with only cosmetic damage. They romped through Saturday for an excellent finish as historic newcomer Guy Anderson, partnered by Kim Baker, took second in C3 in the XS Racing Escort Mk1.
Class C4 victory was a worthy result for the Can-Am Firenza of Mick Strafford and Graham Henshaw on its first major event. Strafford was elated just to finish the tough event with the spectacular car.
Vince Bristow and Jane Edgington teamed up to win C2 in Bristow's Escort Mk1, but only after a catalogue of brake problems that kept the service crew constantly busy. David Kirby and Sean Kennedy chased until a Flanders ditch snared their Escort Mk1.

Category 3
Onions and Williams were on it from the start and led after the two stages on Friday evening. Having cured a distributor problem that had started on the Ulster Rally and got a pair of glasses for the driver, their pace was first class and the lead margin extended through Saturday as Onions proved that he has now mastered asphalt rallying.
However, it so nearly went horribly wrong on the final stage when the gearbox stuck in first gear for around five miles. They battled out, concerned that they had lost overall victory to Stokes, but Onions still had half a minute in hand over the category two car and was four minutes clear of the nearest category three rival.
"That was hard work," said Onions. "It seemed to take forever in first gear and then I wasn't listening and stuck it off into a fence!" However, the job was done and Onions and Williams were able to celebrate a fine victory. Just getting to the finish, let alone winning D4 from second in category three, was a great achievement for Rob Smith and Shaun O'Gorman in their Vauxhall Chevette. On Rob's first experience of Flanders they had massive brake problems and had to bleed the brakes after every stage. Behind Onions and Smith, a fine battle raged for third in the category as the Escorts of Tomas Davies and Gwynfor Jones and Phil and Mick Squires battled all the way. The Welsh crew finally got the nod as Thomas tackled Flanders for the first time.
Adrian Kermode and Maurice Beckett took second in D4 in their Porsche 911, while a fine class D3 victory went to Richard Lane and Frank Richer against a spirited chase from the similar Escort Mk2 of Chris Shooter/Bev LeGood.
"That's the best run we've ever had in Belgium," said Shooter after keeping in touch with the flying Lane.
Finally, Pat Anderson and Tom Mansfield clinched class D2 in their Talbot Sunbeam.

BHRC Preview: Historic Tour of Flanders

Posted: September 9, 2010 2:57 PM

The seventh and penultimate round of the Dunlop/Wonago.com MSA British Historic Rally Championship takes crews to Belgium for the Historic Tour of Flanders (10/11 September).
The annual contest on the challenging asphalt roads takes on a new format for 2010, with the bulk of the rally packed into a long and demanding Saturday after two stages on Friday evening. By late on Saturday night, the rally will be complete.
Three crews stand out at the head of the title race, with current points' leaders Jonathan Gale and James Whitaker (Sunbeam Tiger) striving to fend off the Porsche 911 of Dessie Nutt and Geraldine McBride. However, it is David Stokes and Guy Weaver (Ford Escort Mk1) with the most to gain. If they can take maximum points in Flanders and again on the final round, the Trackrod Historic Cup (25 September), they will have an unbeatable maximum BHRC score.

Category 1
Gale and Whitaker top the category one entry in the thundering Tiger and should go well on the Belgian asphalt. Should Stokes and Weaver falter, Gale/Whitaker could get to within one point of a maximum score, so they need to beat the Nutt/McBride Porsche to maintain their title hopes.
But the pace of Nutt's Porsche will surely take the fight to the Tiger on an event that Nutt and McBride know well. Equally, the Porsche crew still has its own title hopes in what remains a very open contest.
Other contenders in category one include the Porsche 911 of Rikki Proffitt and Bob Duck; while among the smaller-engined category one cars are the Mini Cooper of Peter Horsburgh/Graham Carter, the Sunbeam Stiletto of Mike Barratt/Jody Watson and the Sunbeam Imp of Ian Fisher/John Connor.

Category 2
The focus of category two will be the progress of Stokes and Weaver as they try and add another win to their growing tally. However, they face plenty of opposition, notably from Jeremy Easson and Alun Cook in another Escort Mk1. If Easson and Cook can win the category in Belgium and Yorkshire, they still have a chance of taking the overall BHRC crown.
Other leading class C5 cars include the Escort Mk1 of Chris Browne and Liz Jordan, who should fly given their extensive experience of the Belgian roads. Meanwhile, class C4 should be the domain of the Porsche 911 of Peter Smith and Russ Langthorne, although the mighty Chevrolet-powered Vauxhall Firenza Can-Am of Mick Strafford and Graham Henshaw will be a real highlight of the event. This is Strafford's first BHRC outing with the spectacular 5-litre monster and his progress on the Belgian roads will be watched with great interest.
In class C3, Andrew Siddall and Captain Thompson are having a tremendous season and have come back strongly after an engine failure on the Isle of Man in their Ford Escort Mk1. They will start favourites for the class victory in Belgian, while C2 features a late entry for pacesetter Vince Bristow in his Escort Mk1, with Jane Edgington co-driving for the first time. David Kirby and Sean Kennedy also contest class C2 in their Escort Mk1 and a welcome addition to category two is the class C1 Lancia Fulvia of Steve and Tony Graham.

Category 3
Category three is the most open of all, with four or five crews all in the running for victory. Top of the bunch, in both event and championship terms are Will Onions and David Williams in their Ford Escort Mk2. Onions is steadily building his asphalt experience and will head to Belgium after strong runs on the Isle of Man and in Ulster, while Darren Moon and Graham Wild are also strong contenders in their Escort Mk2. However, class D4 pacesetters Rob Smith and Shaun O'Gorman had a great result in Ulster with their Vauxhall Chevette despite Smith's lack of time on asphalt.
Meanwhile, the return to the BHRC of former champion Steven Smith, partnered by Phil Spurge, in his recently acquired Triumph TR7 V8 adds a real dark horse to the mix. The Triumph will go up against the Chevette and the Porsche 911 of Adrian Kermode and Maurice Beckett in class D4. Back in D5, Onions and Moon have strong opposition from the Escort Mk2s of Tomas Davies/Gwynfor Jones and Phil and Mick Squires.

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Posted: September 6, 2010 3:00 PM

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Posted: January 1, 2010 12:01 AM

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