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With the ANCRO and BTRDA championships coming together on the Woodpecker rally for the 2nd year in succession, there was an awesome entry for the Ludlow based event. It also proved to be very decisive in the championships too with Steve Perez & Paul Spooner (Focus WRC) taking the BTRDA Gold Star title, courtesy of their victory on this rally. Jonny Milner & Ian Windress (Corolla WRC) were 4th overall but top ANCRO crew to secure the National gravel championship. In the Silver Star Jon Ballinger (Manta) came home 3rd registered crew to secure the drivers title, (the co-drivers title will go down to the Cambrian), and lastly Matt Edwards (MG ZR) took the 1400 championship with a convincing victory after his only rival for the championship Darren Pinchin retired on the first stage. The 1400 co-drivers title will go down to the wire though as Edwards will try and secure enough points for Sam Collis to take the spoils whilst Pinchin will salvage something from the season if Karen Watts can grab the title at the last round.

On to our customary review of the podium places and it really was easy pickings for Perez, especially with local favourite and 9 time Woodpecker winner Andy Burton & Robin Kellard (Peugeot Cosworth) retiring on stage 1. Roger Chliman & Andrew Sankey (Impreza) did all they could in their group N car to fight with Perez but they finished almost a minute back in 2nd place and now must concentrate on securing 2nd place in the championship. Nigel Griffiths & Jon Scott (Impreza) were 12 seconds further back to secure 3rd place as they tested the car ready for the National section of Rally GB.

In the ANCRO Milner was 4th overall but top registered crew to take the title. Charlie Payne & Craig Thorley (Focus WRC) were 5th overall and 2nd ANCRO crew just fifteen seconds back as they continue to learn the new car, with Alex Allingham & Mark Glennerster (Impreza) 3rd ANCRO crew, 2nd in group N and 7th overall.

The 2WD/Silver Star saw another storming drive from Dylan Davies & Dale Furniss (Escort MkI) to take victory by just under half a minute from Peter Elkins & Andrew Joll (Escort MkII). Jim Munden & Andy Frost (Escort MkII) completed the podium places. Elkins secured maximum points in the Silver star but back in 5th place, but third in the points, was Ballinger who the title with one round to go.

As mentioned earlier Edwards & Collis took victory by just over 40 seconds as the first two stages wiped out 3 of the pre-event favourites for the category, (Pinchin, George Thomas & Neil Weaver), making their day a much easier affair. Justin Lawson & Paul Hargreaves (Nova) were 2nd with David Bennett & Alistair McNeil (Corsa) a further 40 seconds back in third place.

Video, one day maybe…

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