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Repeat victories for Nick Elliott/Dave Price (Ford Escort Mk2), Julian Reynolds/Patrick Walsh (Ford Escort Mk1) marked round two of the 2012 Kololi Beach Club MSA British Historic Rally Championship on the Bulldog Historic Rally on Saturday (24 March).

While the Mid Wales winners continued to head their respective categories, it was all change in Category One as Rikki Proffitt and Phill Harrison took advantage of late dramas for Graham Waite and Gill Cotton to take victory.

On a day of implausibly warm weather, dust was an issue and changing levels of grip caught some crews out. But the chance to compete over classic Welsh gravel stages made the Bulldog another popular event with the BHRC contenders.

Category One
It was another excellent event for the 14-strong Category One field, although not so good if you were running a Lotus Cortina. Mid Wales winners Paul Mankin and Desmond Bell were out with front end damage and the Simon Wallis/Graham Wride car broke a halfshaft on the startline of the Penllyn stage.

From the very start it was Waite setting the pace in the flying Volvo and he arrived at main service in Dolgellau with 20s in hand over Proffitt. Meanwhile, going better on gravel than for some time, Dessie Nutt and Geraldine McBride were in a strong third place.

Waite continued to build his lead through the two stages in the Aberhirnant complex near Bala but disaster struck on the final stage in Dyfnant. First they had to stop to re-attach a plug lead but worse was to come when a broken gear lever led to a trip up a bank and a gentle roll. They got going again, but lost over two minutes in the stage and dropped to third behind the Porsche 911s of Proffitt and Nutt.

Proffitt was delighted with a trouble free day and a strong result, while Nutt was only 18s behind after a good day on gravel. Behind Waite, Terry Brown/John Stanger-Leathes battled home fourth with a Porsche 911 that would not rev.

Geoff Taylor and Steve Greenhill had a strong run to sixth and Class B1 victory in their Sunbeam Imp Sport and Callum Barney/Ron Channon took B3 in their Ford Cortina GT after clutch failure sidelined the Ford Anglia of Peter Stimson/Mark Butler.

BHRC CATEGORY ONE RESULTS:
1 Rikki Proffitt/Phill Harrison (Porsche 911) 58m38.3s
2 Dessie Nutt/Geraldine McBride (Porsche 911) 58m56.3s
3 Graham Waite/Gill Cotton (Volvo Amazon) 60m21.4s
4 Terry Brown/John Stanger-Leathes (Porsche 911) 61m12.9s
5 Derek Boyd/Peter Scott (Porsche 911) 61m25.5s
6 Geoff Taylor/Steve Greenhill (Sunbeam Imp Sport) 61m55.2s

Category Two
Reynolds took control of Category Two from the opening stage of Big Ray and was never really troubled as he swept to victory by 1m49s. His main concern was avoiding punctures in the bid for maximum points and a nicely measured drive was the result.

In Reynolds’ wake, David Stokes and Guy Weaver were always a strong second and had a clear run through stages that Stokes always enjoys. But Stokes could never relax too much as the battling cars of Ernie/Will Graham and Rupert Lomax/Baz Green chased hard and only around half a minute down going into the final stage. Any plans that Lomax had for an attack were dashed when a pin came out of the clutch pedal and he ran the 8.6-mile stage with no clutch, dropping around 16s as a result.

Instead, the Graham father and son team took an excellent third by just three-tenths of a second as Andrew Siddall and Carl Williamson completed the top five.

Dick Slaughter and Tim Sayer again topped Class C3 with an excellent run to keep Mark Holmes/Tony Lindsay at bay by around 50s. Class C2 was won by Matt Fowle/Jane Edgington who set the pace as rivals Nick Danks/Martin Corbett and David Kirby/Rob Cook retired.

BHRC CATEGORY TWO RESULTS:
1 Julian Reynolds/Patrick Walsh (Ford Escort Mk1) 52m18.6s
2 David Stokes/Guy Weaver (Ford Escort Mk1) 54m08.4s
3 Ernie Graham/Will Graham (Ford Escort Mk1) 55m01.5s
4 Rupert Lomax/Baz Green (Ford Escort Mk1) 55m01.8s
5 Andrew Siddall/Carl Williamson (Ford Escort Mk1) 56m02.7s
6 Dick Slaughter/Tim Sayer (Ford Escort Mk1) 56m16.7s

Category Three
Elliott went into the rally looking for a fourth straight Bulldog Historic victory and duly delivered with another classy drive over stages that likes and knows well. He went eight seconds clear in the opening five miles in Big Ray and has extended that margin to 43s by the time the finishers returned to Welshpool.

Behind Elliott there were battles and dramas and a fierce contest raged for second between Will Onions/Dave Williams and Kevin Davies/Dale Furniss. Onions drove a strong rally to get the nod by just two seconds but then elected to miss post-event scrutineering and was later excluded.

Instead, second went to Davies after an excellent performance that fully marked him out as a rising new star in the BHRC.

Despite going off on the opening stage to avoid the rolled car of Alan Walker/Andrew Sankey, Tim Pearcey and Neil Shanks recovered to take third as Tomas Davies/Eurig Davies and Warren Philliskirk/Matt Whattam rounded out the top five registered crews.

Shawn Rayner and Declan Dear were dealt a massive blow in Class D3 with a substantial engine failure on the opening stage and it was Rex Ireland and Adrian Scadding who took maximum D3 points by half a minute over Chris Shooter/Bev LeGood. Meanwhile, James Stait and Marcus Cartwright returned to competition in Stait’s Lotus Sunbeam and claimed Class D4.

BHRC CATEGORY THREE RESULTS:
1 Nick Elliott/Dave Price (Ford Escort Mk2) 52m02.0s
2 Kevin Davies/Dale Furniss (Ford Escort Mk2) 52m45.7s
3 Tim Pearcey/Neil Shanks (Ford Escort Mk2) 53m17.7s
4 Tomas Davies/Eurig Davies (Ford Escort Mk2) 53m42.8s
5 Warren Philliskirk/Matt Whattam (Ford Escort Mk2) 53m57.8s
6 Matthew Robinson/Nigel Hutchinson (Ford Escort Mk2) 54m35.2s

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