The Mid Wales Stages moved from its traditional slot of July to March and became the opening round of the Dunlop/wonago.com MSA British Historic Rally Championship in 2011 and it did not fail to disappoint. The battle at the top end was always going to be about the classic entries and Nick Elliott & Chris Brooks set the initial pace in their Escort MkII. Close behind were Julian Reynolds and Ian Oakey (Escort MkII) and going into the final stage just 4 seconds separated the two crews, after Reynolds had narrowed the gap over the previous stages. As they went out of view on our point on Myherin, Reynolds was only one second faster then Elliott and looked set for 2nd place but somehow in the final few miles he pulled out another 4 seconds to win by just a second! A fantastic end to the opening round.
Some what distant back in third were Will Onions & Dave Williams (Escort MkII) almost two minutes further back. In the Post Historics it was all about the Escort MkI’s and it was 2010 BHRC Champions David Stokes & Guy Weaver who won by just under 30 seconds from Rupert Lomax & David Alcock. Third in the category was a close run thing with Chris Browne & Liz Jordan just beating RAC and Boucles de Spa winners Stefaan Stouf & Joris Erard by just 3 seconds.
In the Historics most people would have expected it be a formality for the distinctive yellow Porsche 911 of Dessie Nutt & Geraldine McBride to take the victory but they were hard pushed through the event and when they retired on the penultimate stage it was Simon Wallis & Graham Wride who took the category in their Lotus Cortina. Graham Waite & Gill Cotton felt fortunate to reach the end in their Volvo Amazon, so were happy to take 2nd place with Rikki Proffitt & John Stanger-Leathes 3rd in their Porsche 911.
In the clubman event Tom Cave & Craig Parry brought their Impreza down from group N victory the day before on the Malcolm Wilson rally and took overall victory on the Mid Wales Stages. It had been a good battle as 2010 winners Matt Edwards & Sam Collis (Impreza) were only 40 seconds back after a blowing away the cobwebs run. Also getting his first rally of 2011 underway was Damian Cole who took the final podium place in his Accent WRC, co-driven by Ben Innes.
Video at some point…