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Pirelli Carlisle Rally - (Sat) 25 Apr 15

Posted: October 20, 2016 10:30 AM - 3636 Hits

Round 3 - 2015 RAC Historic Rally Championship
Round 3 - 2015 MSA British Historic Rally Championship

Elliott slithers to BHRC victory in Kielder

Posted: October 20, 2016 6:41 AM

Nick Elliott and Dave Price made it two wins from three rounds of the Mintex MSA British Historic Rally Championship on the Pirelli Carlisle Rally (Saturday 25 April).

As truly testing conditions hit the demanding Kielder stages, Elliott drove a superbly judged rally as heavy overnight on previously dry and dusty stages left everyone searching for grip. Just eight seconds split Elliott/Price from rivals Matthew Robinson and Sam Collis at the finish as other leading crews faltered. Former championship leaders Jason Pritchard and Phil Clarke were sidelined by clutch failure and Kielder ditches claimed Meirion Evans/Steffan Evans and Richard Hill/Iwan Jones.

Paul Barrett and Dai Roberts turned in another starring performance to take third overall in their Pinto-powered Escort Mk2 while David Stokes/Guy Weaver (Ford Escort Mk1) and Paul Mankin/Desmond Bell (Lotus Cortina) also won their respective categories.

After three very dry weeks, it was very wet and slippery in Kielder after heavy overnight rain. Undaunted by the conditions, Elliott (Ford Escort Mk2) set the pace on the opening stage. Thereafter, Robinson mounted constant pressure, but Elliott held his nerve to win by just eight seconds and take top points in the RSR Historic Engineering Category 3.

“We drove as fast as the grip and kept it smooth and in the middle of the road,” said Elliott, who went fastest in stage one, Black Craggs, with Meirion Evans/Steffan Evans second, just 2.5s adrift. Evans kept in touch on White Sike but slid out of the rally on the third stage, Buck Fell. “There’s no room for error up here and we slipped into a ditch,” said Evans.

Robinson moved into second and beat Elliott by three seconds on Buck Fell to reach service less than 10 seconds behind the leader. It was then very tight all afternoon, with Robinson just one second faster over the second loop of stages. “We’ll have him one day,” said Robinson. “Two or three years ago, catching Nick was only a dream.”

Once again, Paul Barrett and Dai Roberts turned in one of the drives of the rally to take third overall in their Pinto-powered Escort Mk2. The fact that he’d not rallied in Kielder before made no difference to the sensational pace of the Northern Irishman.

Fourth in the BHRC ranks was a great result for Rudi Lancaster and George Gwynn, who get quicker and quicker each time out. Some work on brake bias on the Somerset Stages a week earlier reaped dividends and even a cracked oil cooler after catching a car on the first stage didn’t hinder their excellent progress.

Into an excellent fifth went Tim Freeman and Paul Williams, despite suffering a cracked windscreen when they caught the recovering Rupert Lomax, while Steve Bennett and Paul Wakely took sixth on only Steve’s second rally in his historic Escort Mk2. Back on gravel for the first time since last November’s Roger Albert Clark Rally, Seamus O’Connell was next up with Andy Richardson on the notes.

Barrett/Roberts won class D3 at a canter, with Ben Friend/Cliffy Simmons next up after a strong run. Meanwhile Chris Skill and Ken Bills (Ford Escort Mk2) won class D2. With Pritchard out, Tomas Davies and Eurig Davies won the Holton Homes Category K for cars running to Appendix K specification.

Capital Construction Category 2 victory for Stokes/Weaver was one of the closest yet, as clutch problems dogged their progress on the first loop as Rupert Lomax/Rich Jones and John Perrott/Keaton Williams were really on it. Lomax could have won but lost two minutes with an off and puncture on stage three and dropped to third. Meanwhile, the charging Perrott was 11s up on Stokes at service but a noisy diff bearing forced him to back off in the afternoon and slip to fifth. Meanwhile, Warren Philliskirk and Nigel Hutchinson finally took second in the category, just 24s behind Stokes. Out of the rally, at the crest that once claimed Nick Elliott, went Ernie and Will Graham with a high-speed trip into a ditch.

James Slaughter belied a two-year break from gravel rallying to take class C3 in his Escort Mk1 with Keegan Rees co-driving. The battle for second in C3 between Phil Jobson/Arwel Jenkins (Escort Mk1) and Terry Cree/Richard Shores (BMW 2002) was only resolved when the BMW hit rear suspension dramas in the final stage.

Barry Jordan and James Gratton-Smith (Hillman Avenger) sorted themselves out at service and duly upped their pace to win class C2 after a stunning run through the afternoon stages. They turned a 44s deficit on Robin Shuttleworth/Ron Roughead into a 16s winning margin in just three stages.

The weather conditions led to rougher than expected stages and the older cars in the Walker Diecastings Category 1 suffered badly as they ran towards the tail of the field for the first time. Rikki Proffitt and James Whitaker withdrew their Porsche 911 after one stage rather than damage it and few of the survivors enjoyed the experience.

Paul Mankin and Desmond Bell (Lotus Cortina) were the top finishers. “We just followed the ruts on the second run,” said Mankin. Bob and Dale Gibbons (Ford Cortina Mk2 GT) won their class, but the car took a pasting. “I’ll never do that again,” said Gibbons senior. Behind Malcolm Rich/Jonathan Hawkins (Ford Anglia), Philip Harris and Alan Walker (Mini Cooper) somehow got round to win class B2.

Burton blitzes WWRS R.A.C. Rally Championship round three

Posted: October 20, 2016 6:39 AM

Phil Burton and Mal Capstick were the big winners on the third round of the West Wales Rally Spares R.A.C. Rally Championship, the Pirelli Carlisle Stages (Saturday 25 April).

Burton was in fighting form to be top R.A.C. finisher in his Open Category Ford Escort Mk2, while James Potter and Bob Duck were leading historic finishers in their Ford Escort Mk2. Barry Stevenson-Wheeler and John Pickavance were third overall and second in the Open Category. “Fantastic: the car’s been brilliant,” said Burton after taking a resounding victory.

James Potter and Bob Duck (Ford Escort Mk2) topped the historic R.A.C contenders, despite having to steer around bits of broken BMW on the opening stage. Fortunately, the only damage to the re-liveried Escort was a broken headlight. “The speed is getting back,” said Potter on only his second rally since a high-speed off in Yorkshire last September.

On a day of tough conditions and high attrition, Stuart and Linda Cariss did well to be first Category 2 crew home in their Escort Mk1, finishing ahead of class winners Matthew Honeybourne/James Curtis (Ford Escort Mk1). “It’s been a good day but a bit of an eye opener; it’s a different world back there,” said Cariss of running well down the field.

Notable non-finishers included Grahame Standen/Jane Edgington (Escort Mk2), Simon Crook/Alister Crook (Opel Manta), Tim Mason/Graham Wild (Porsche 911), Will Midgely/Graham Wride (Toyota Corolla) and Bob Bean/Malcolm Smithson (Escort Mk1). Sadly, the Crooks suffered a big roll at the deceptive crest that earlier caught out BHRC contender Ernie Graham and inflicted considerable damage on the Manta.

Meanwhile, ditches claimed Mason and Bean, with Mason being particularly unlucky to spear off the road with a suspected breakage in the final stage when only seven seconds down on Potter.

Out on the opening stage with electrical issues went Grahame Standen and Jane Edgington (Ford Escort Mk2), which left the way open for a class victory for David Hopkins/Tony Vart (Talbot Sunbeam).

Seeded Entry List

Posted: April 24, 2015 9:40 AM

Kielder challenge next for BHRC contenders

Posted: April 23, 2015 7:35 AM

The outstanding gravel roads of Kielder forest will be the setting for round three of the 2015 Mintex MSA British Historic Rally Championship, the Pirelli Carlisle Stages (Saturday 25 April).

After an eight-week break since round two, BHRC crews will gather in Carlisle for a new-look event that packs nearly 50 competitive miles into four and a half hours of intense competition. Once the run out from Carlisle is complete, crews will tackle six special stages and just 25 road miles before the rally finish at Kielder Castle.

The event has attracted its biggest ever historic field despite losing some Category 1 entrants due to the recent changes in event running order. A superb field will assemble, headed by current overall BHRC leaders Jason Pritchard and Phil Clarke (Ford Escort Mk2). They compete in the Holton Homes Category K for cars running to Appendix K specification and will be the first historic car on the road, only running behind three modern crews.

Ranged against Pritchard, who scored his first major historic victory in this region last year, are two more very quick Escorts running to FIA specification. Meirion Evans and Steffan Evans have little or no knowledge of the region, but have demonstrated superb pace on recent events and are overdue a big result. Meanwhile, Tomas Davies and Gwynfor Jones will be right in contention.

Ranged against the Category K cars will be a host of front-running Escort Mk2s in the RSR Historic Engineering Category 3, topped by title contenders Matthew Robinson/Sam Collis, Nick Elliott/Dave Price and Richard Hill/Iwan Jones. Meanwhile, Joe Price/Chris Brooks will be on unfamiliar stages, but will surely be very quick along with crews like Rudi Lancaster/George Gwynn and Tim Freeman/Paul Williams. The gorgeous Toyota Celica of Ben Mellors/Alex Lee offers variety to the Escort pack.

Peter Smith and Patrick Walsh top class D4 in Category 3 in their Opel Kadett, while class D3 is headed by flying Irishman Paul Barrett and his Welsh co-driver Dai Roberts. Barrett, who will be pretty new to Kielder, set a fearsome pace on the Mid Wales Stages and will be chased by Ben Friend/Sean Kennedy and Ian Jones/Iestyn Williams. In class D2, Chris Skill and Ken Bills should set the mark in their 1600cc Escort Mk2.

Another tremendous entry will contest the Capital Construction Category 2, with David Stokes and Guy Weaver currently heading the points in their Escort Mk1. Stokes will again be the Category 2 benchmark, but the opposition in stronger than ever in 2015 with at least half a dozen Escort Mk1s chasing the current BHRC champion.

Ernie and Will Graham, Rupert Lomax/Rich Jones, John Perrott/Keaton Williams and Chris Browne/Ali Cornwell-Browne are all battling hard in class C5 and have already enjoyed some mighty contests over the opening two events. One small slip for Stokes could let one of at least four crews in for victory.

Local driver Phil Jobson and Welsh co-driver Arwel Jenkins top class C3 in their Escort Mk1 and go up against the similar car of championship returnee James Slaughter, with Welsh co-driver Keegan Rees. The BMW 2002 of Terry Cree/Richard Shores is a potential class winner while more variety comes from the Saab 96 of Colin Hope/Nick Patrick.

The 1600cc battle in Category 2 is a fierce three-way battle between the Escort Mk1s of Robin Shuttleworth/Ronnie Roughead and Dave Watkins/Tom Jordan as well as the Hillman Avenger of Barry Jordan/James Gratton-Smith.

The entry in the Walker Diecastings Category 1 for pre ?68 cars is smaller than expected as these cars can no longer run at the head of the field. However, the competition will be strong as Rikki Proffitt/James Whitaker bid for a third straight win in 2015. Rivals include Welsh crews Bob and Dale Gibbons (Ford Cortina GT) and Malcolm Rich/Jonathan Hawkins (Ford Anglia), while local crew Paul Mankin/Desmond Bell (Lotus Cortina) and Dessie Nutt/Geraldine McBride (Porsche 911) are other leading contenders. In class B2, Phil Harris and Alan Walker pit their Mini Cooper S against the challenge of Kielder.

Finally, supporting the Jondel Engines Category 4 is the MG Metro of Trevor Hancock/Jody Watson.

The rally will be based close to junction 43 of the M6 in Carlisle and the service area will be in the close to Kielder Water. The first car will start at 10am on Saturday and finish at 3.30pm.

Entries Received / On Line Entry / Website / Details

Posted: February 20, 2015 6:36 PM

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