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Once again our main focus on this trip was the BHRC runners and the conclusion of Dunlop/ MSA British Historic Rally Championship. With the title going down to a three way battle between David Stokes, Dessie Nutt and  Jonathan Gale there was plenty to play for. After the first stage it was already down to a battle between two as Dessie Nutt & Geraldine McBride retired their Porsche 911. Gale, co-driven by James Whitaker, now had to hold his nerve and concentrate on finishing and hoping someone could beat Stokes in category 2. Gale took the Historic section of the rally but only just by 1.8s from Graham Waite & Gill Cotton (Amazon). In the post Historics Stefaan Stouf & Joris Erard (Escort MkI) returned to the British forests to follow up their 2009 win on the Trackrod, also taking a fine 3rd overall behind the leading two Escort MkII’s.

However they were not registered for points, so 2nd place but maximum points for David Stokes & Guy Weaver (Escort MkI) saw them crowned 2010 BHRC Champions after a string of DNF’s at the start of the season. They had been made to sweat though as Steven Smith & John Nichols (Escort MkI) were registered for points and flew through the first stage to take the lead and were looking good until a roll on the flying finish of the 3rd stage saw them retire as Smith damaged his hand and was unable to continue even if the car could be beaten back into shape.

In the Classics, and at the head of the field, there was a titanic battle between local ace Steve Bannister & Louise Sutherland (Escort MkII) and the consistently quick Nick Elliott & Dave Price (Escort MkII). ‘Banner’ used his local knowledge to the maximum and took victory by just over a minute but the effort Elliott had put in could be seen on every corner of the car, after numerous brushes with the scenery to try and gain every last second.

Overall then it was Bannister from Elliott with Connor Corkill & Rob Fagg (Escort MkII) 3rd in the Classics. In the post Historics it was Stouf from Stokes with Chris Browne & Liz Jordan (Escort MkI) completing the podium. And finally in the Historic section Gale won from Waite with the Lotus Cortina of Gwilym Roberts & Debby Myers 3rd. The Historic challenge was won by Simon Wallis & Graham Wride (Lotus Cortina).

Into the BRC where Gwyndaf Evans & Claire Mole (Evo X) took a comfortable victory from team mates for the event Alastair Fisher & Rory Kennedy (Evo X) with Keith Cronin & Barry McNulty (Impreza N15) third and BRC champions in the process, for the 2nd year in succession. Cronin had done more than he needed too as a top 7 finish would guarantee him the title and he showed great maturity to get the job completed. Celebrations were subdued however following the death of fellow TEG team mate Jimmy Girvan on the Colin McRae Stages, earlier in the day.

In the Challenge rally Callum Black & Paul Wakely (Swift) took a convincing victory from Jonathan Cunningham & Richard Millener (Fiesta) with Brettney Griffin & Sam Fordham (106 Gti) third.

In what will probably be the last ever round of the National gravel championship, Charlie Payne & Craig Thorley (Focus WRC) took victory after leading from the start. 2010 champions Jonny Miner & Ian Windress (Corolla WRC) settled into 2nd place on their home event but retired in Langdale with mechanical issues. This allowed Stephen Petch & John Richardson (Accent WRC) a comfortable run to 2nd place with Jamie Anderson & Ella Flynn (Evo VIII) completing the podium and winning group N, in 3rd place.

And finally in the Clubman Gary Cooper & John Riley (Impreza) won by almost a minute from Jim McNeil & Sam Collis (Impreza). Darren Grimston & Richard Ross (Evo VI) completed the podium in this event.

Video, well we will see…

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