Rudi Lancaster and Guy Weaver dominated the Red Kite Stages more than two-and-a-half-minute difference to second place Pete Littler and Andy Marchbank.
The Devonian looked absolutely shattered putting so much work into the steering wheel on the superb stages where he went banzai trying to put a marker down to his competitors.
Even with the rain in the afternoon the ambient temperature was still in the mid-twenties Rudi decided going onto harder tyres finding massive amounts of grip despite the weather conditions.
Pete Littler and Andy Marchbank were hoping that their recent run of form and improving the car would continue.
They were hampered by a few little niggles including a codrivers door that kept opening, Andy would have to keep hold of it causing difficulties in getting a rhythm going as turning over the pages on the route notes would prove a difficulty.
It would not all go to plan for every competing crew in the Stage Masters Challenge, Matt Fowle and Lee Bezuidenhout were looking for a better run in the Ford Escort 1600 after succumbing to engine problems on the RallyNuts Stages. But things went from bad to worse after they once again retired this time on the first stage of the day.
In category one Bob Gibbons and Jon Harris would have very sore fingers and wrist joints at the end of the rally due to a lack of intercom. They were hoping to fix the problems at each service but despite changing a lot of things they never got to the route of the problem.
Jon would have to revert to hand signals which is never an easy job when you try to get the signals in the eye-line of the driver while bumping around.
Following on behind was Ken Davies and Alan Jones running near the front of the field and getting the best of the conditions even though they came across the odd amount of dust. But they couldn’t get back into the flow after coming across an accident on Stage 4 where a modern car had gone off and the crew were trapped in the vehicle.
This ultimately caused the cancellation of the stage and as they came out of service for the two remaining stages the heavens opened – While it was enough to keep the dust down tyre choice had become a lottery as the surface continued to remain dry and hard with plenty of grip levels.
Lee Sellers and Michelle O’Connor’s worst problem was being first car on the road and all the troubles associated with it – A lot of pressure for this relatively novice crew on multi-venue events.
They did it despite a few road section overshoots – they got round and they enjoyed the stages.
Driver Navigator CAR TIME
|1||Rudi Lancaster||Guy Weaver||Ford Escort Mk 2||38:06:00|
|2||Pete Littler||Andy Marchbank||Ford Escort Mk 2||40:55:00|
|3||Jason Gardner||A Williams||Ford Escort Mk 2||41:22:00|
|4||Mike Simpson||Dale GIbbons||Ford Escort Mk 1||41:37:00|
|5||Andrew Stokes||A Jenkins||Ford Escort RS2000||43:00:00|
|6||Ron Morgan||Tudor Jenkins||Ford Escort Mk 2||44:07:00|
|7||Bob Gibbons||Jon Harris||Ford Cortina Gt||44:31:00|
|8||Ken Davies||Alan Jones||Volvo Amazon||46:54:00|
|9||Lee Sellers||Michelle O’Connor||Triumph 2000 Pi||49:38:00|
|RTD||Matt Fowle||Lee Bezuidenhout||Ford Escort Mk 1||Engine|