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Down to Bournemouth for the opening round of the British Rally Championship and all change as 2011 is set to be the year of the young guns, with the old guard not present. From the start it was a two horse race between David Bogie & Kevin Rae (Evo IX) and Tom Cave & Craig Parry (Evo X). Bogie struck first but Cave then went fastest on stage 2 to take the lead. Bogie went fastest on stage 3 to snatch the lead back but Cave then cut the lead over the next two stages before Bogie set fastest times on stages 6 and 7. Cave closed in once more but with the gap at ten seconds going into the final stage Bogie went fastest to win whilst Cave lost over ten seconds. An excellent battle throughout with Bogie taking his first BRC win from Cave who just kept ahead of Elfyn Evans & Andrew Edwards (Impreza N15) who improved as the day passed.

In the 2WD Craig Breen & Gareth Roberts (Fiesta R2) had been in the mix and led after stage 3 before disaster struck on stage 4. Breen was too far adrift and whilst setting good times over the remaining stages it was too much to see him figure in the podium battle. So it became the battle of the Twingo’s with road penalties proving crucial. Siim Plangi & Marek Sarapuu kept a clean record and won by just under 30 seconds from Mikko Pajunen & Jani Salo who were hit with 30 seconds of penalties. Completing the podium were Callum Black & Paul Wakely (Swift S1600) almost a minute and a half back.

In the National rally road penalties played a huge part too but this time they laid the foundations to a great comeback as Roger Duckworth & Aled Davies (Impreza WRC) eventually won the event by 55 seconds. They checked in early to TC2 and were penalised by 2 minutes, (without this their overall time would have been good enough to beat Bogie by 20 seconds). Colin Britton & Arthur Kierans (Evo IX) took a fine 2nd place after Duckworth caught and passed them, with Wug & Max Utting (Impreza N12B) almost a minute and a half further back in third place.

Lastly, even though they were first on the road and first to finish, the Historics saw Ernie Graham & Chris Parsons (Escort MkII) battle event long with Richard Lane & Frank Richer (Escort MkII). Graham was fastest over the first six stages to hold just over 14 seconds advantage before Lane carved 5 seconds back on the penultimate stage. Disaster then struck on the final stage for Graham as Lane took the best part of two minutes of him to take a last gasp victory. Graham held on for 2nd place with Peter Egerton & Alun Cook (Escort MkI) third.

Video one day…

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