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With the ANCRO long since gone the Historic crews took the limelight on the Severn Valley Rally. It proved to be an epic battle as the two pre-event favourites suffered on stage 1. Nick Elliott & Chris Brooks retired their Escort MkII after a roll early on during the stage, whilst Julian Reynolds & Ian Oakey punctured a tyre in their Escort MkII. It then led to a fightback that almost paid off. In the end Will Onions & Dave Williams had to drive the wheels off their  Escort MkII over the last two stages, and they held on to win by just 0.3s from Reynolds & Oakey. As if that wasn’t enough Tim Pearcey & Neil Shanks (Escort MkII) caught and passed Rob Smith & Shaun O’Gorman (Chevette) on the final stage to take third place by just 0.7s.

In the post Historics the top three seeds all had issues with Stefaan Stouf & Joris Erard (Escort MkI) retiring after going OTL on stage 2 whilst trying to repair a broken steering arm, then Rupert Lomax & David Alcock (Escort MkI) collected 9 minutes of road penalties for checking into a control too early which should have left David Stokes & Guy Weaver (Escort MkI) to take an easy victory. Sadly for them they retired on stage 6 and stopped in the stage so it was Chris Browne & Liz Jordan (Escort MkI) who won by just over a minute. Pete Smith & Russ Langthorne (Escort MkI) were second with Jeremy Wells & Ken Bowman (Escort MkI) third.

In the Historics Graham Waite & Gill Cotton (Amazon) were simply uncatchable and won by over a minute and a half. Rikki Proffitt & John Stanger-Leathes (911) were second going into the final stage but were being caught by an on song Simon Wallis & Graham Wride (Lotus Cortina) and they fell back into third after a promising run. There was also a challenge rally  mostly between Mini’s and Clive King & Bob Ward had been leading into service by a comfortable margin. They then retired on stage 5 and this left an intense battle between Eric Davis & Russell Joseph against Andrew O’Hanlon & James Crook. Eventually David & Joseph came out on top with Nigel Dutson & Keith Fellowes third behind O’Hanlon & Crook.

In the Clubman rally the top three ended just under 7 seconds apart and it was a rare victory for Wug & Max Utting (Impreza) from the more powerful Impreza WRC of Bob ceen and Andy Bull, on their first event in the new car. Alex Allingham & Mark Glennerster (Impreza) were a close third in this unpredictable event. 2WD honours went to Terry Brown & Tomos Whittle (Escort MkII).

Video to follow eventually…

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