British Historic Rally Championship Red Dragon Historic Rally

Nick Elliot/Dave Price - Ford Escort Mk2 Photos Paul Lawrence

The sixth round of the British Historic Rally Championship took place at the Walters Arena Motorsports Complex near Glyneath in Wales over a 35 stage-mile route, shortened due to the issues over the cost of access to the forests managed by Natural Resource Wales. Heavy rain on the previous day and throughout the Saturday event gave competitors some of the toughest conditions in which they had ever competed.

Nick Elliott and Dave Price took their Ford Escort Mk2 to an immediate nine-second lead over the similar car of Joe Price and Chris Brooks in the first stage, and then doubled their lead in SS2. But misfortune befell the pair in stage 3 when a puncture cost them over a minute, handing the lead to Joe Price.

Meanwhile a steady performance from Jason Pritchard and Phil Clarke in an 1800 Escort, saw them keeping pace, albeit some distance behind, and heading in to the final stage, which linked the two stages together to make a 12-mile decider, in third place. This was converted to a second place when a particularly tricky corner caught out the leaders, Price and Brooks, and they slid off the road and out of the rally.

This meant that a surprised Elliot, who had entered the stage some 28secs in arrears was able to claim overall victory after all, and maximum Category 3 points in the Championship, with Pritchard making up time to finish a scant 3 seconds behind.

 

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Bob Gibbons/Dale Gibbons (Ford Cortina Mk2)

Third overall was a very good result for Steve Bennett and Paul Spooner after a trouble-free run in their Dave Jenkins-prepared Escort. “I certainly found out how to drive an Escort sideways,” said Bennett. Ben Friend and Cliffy Simmons scooped a D3 class-winning fourth overall as the first Pinto-powered finisher in their Escort Mk2.

Simon Tysoe and Paul Morris were Category 2 winners, chased by Warren Philliskirk and Nigel Hutchinson. “That’s one of the most challenging events I’ve ever done,” commented Tysoe. Bob and Dale Gibbons won Category 1 after a strong run in their Ford Cortina Mk2.

C1: Bob Gibbons/Dale Gibbons (Ford Cortina Mk2)
C2: Simon Tysoe/Paul Morris (Ford Escort Mk1)
C3: Nick Elliott/Dave Price (Ford Escort Mk2)
CK: Jason Pritchard/Phil Clarke (Ford Escort Mk2)

Provisional championship standings
1 Tysoe/Morris – 322 points
2 Paul Barrett – 304
3 Elliott/Price – 259