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swansea bay 09 (6)The rain dampened down the usual dust we come to expect from this event but it did not dampen the intense battle for victory. The top three seeded crews all led the rally at various points but when gearbox gremlins struck the Impreza WRC of Roger Duckworth & Mark Broomfield with two stages to go it was down to a two way battle. The Accent WRC of Marcus Dodd & Andrew Bargery led the Focus WRC of Steve Perez & Paul Spooner in to the last stage, but ten seconds dropped was enough to see Perez take victory after suffering road penalties earlier on in the event, (for leaving service late). However 2nd place was enough to confirm Dodd & Bargery as the 2009 National Gravel Champions, making a hat-trick for the crew and 5 in total for Dodd. Duckworth completed the podium half a minute back, whilst fourth place saw Daniel Barry & Martin Brady clinch the Evo Challenge.In the clubmen event Michael O’Brien & Sam Collis took a comfortable victory of over a minute and a half, in their Focus WRC. They were followed home by Martyn & Ian England in their Evo IX just over four seconds ahead of the Evo VIII of Jamie Anderson & John Scott.

Also competing were the 205 and RWD challenge crews in the Yokohama Challenge and Richard Felgate & Mark Mason took victory in their BMW 325 from the similar car of Andrew Fox & Stuart Powell. Russ Thomson & Ashley Trimble completed the podium places in their Peugeot 205 with 4th overall and 2nd in the Peugeot’s going to Dewi Williams & Aled Edwards. Fifth, and completing the BMW podium, were Toni Carannante & Ella Flynn whilst sixth overall and third Peugeot were Damien Smith & Frazer Hutchinson.

A brief compilation video from the two stages at Walters –

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