Three Shires Stages
The Three Shires Stages organised by Cheltenham Motor Club is a closed road asphalt rally using the lanes of Gloucestershire, Worcestershire and Herefordshire and formed penultimate round of this years West Wales Rally Spares HRCR Stage Masters Challenge. A hardcore of Challenge crews turned out in the quest for points and the Challenge champions were confirmed in the process. Baz Wheeler and John Pickavance have had a proper go at the Challenge this year and their commitment has paid off as they sealed the overall Challenge and the integral Asphalt Cup. The pair encountered fuel issues on Rali Ceredigion and the problem arose again on the stages near Much Marcle but the discovery of a split float and subsequent replacement put the car back on song. Unfortunately a clutch issue then made progress difficult but they held on to finish second in the D5 class to Hywel Davies and Ian Jones. Hywel and Ian had a good morning and extended a decent lead over Wheeler in their North Wales Rally Spares RS1800 but dropped some time in the afternoon when the heavens opened and they were caught on slick tyres.
Stuart Anderson and Kenny Owen made an appearance in Stuart’s Vauxhall Chevette HS and enjoyed the first two thirds of the event before retiring graciously to save the car for another day. Andrew O’Hanlon and Kevin Hogan flew on the Manx Rally in their Mini earlier in the year and were looking forward to a good run before the car is stripped down and given a rebuild. Things were going well until the throttle cable broke and they elected to retire as any chance of a good result had evaporated.
So, there is just one more Challenge round remaining, the Wyedean Stages on November 18th based in Coleford. The Gravel Cup is still up for grabs and it will be interesting to see who turns out to challenge for it. Thereafter it will be the annual awards dinner which is scheduled for February 3rd so make sure that you put the date in your diaries.