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After a break from motorsport for a few weeks we got straight back into the Nicky Grist Stages Rally, held on the gravel stages around the Epynt military ranges. The BTRDA championship is lining up to be a titanic battle with Shaun Gardener & Ben Innes (Evo 5.9) being the consistent scorers but taking the overall event wins are Hugh Hunter & Andy Marchbank (Focus WRC) and Roger Chilman & Bryan Thomas (Impreza WRC). Hunter and Chilman can no longer afford a DNF but it did not reduce the intensity of their battle. It was decided early on though as Hunter was in road mode for most of the 1st stage and then punctured on stage 2. Chilman had the win in hand and still set some fastest stage times through the rest of the event, winning by 17 seconds.

Back in the battle for the final podium spot it all came down to the last stage, where Gardener came out victorious over Nigel Griffiths & Jon Scott (Impreza) by just a single second. This was still in doubt at the finish as Griffiths had a ten second time penalty hanging over him following an early arrival at a control but this was upheld after he appealed.

In the 2WD battle it was a clear win for Matthew Robinson & Nigel Hutchinson (Escort MkII) as they won by over a minute from Boyd Kershaw & Bryan Hull (Escort MkII). Joe Price & Chris Brooks (Escort MkII) had been flying through the first half of the rally but retired at service. Completing the podium were David & James Young in their Escort MkII.

And lastly, first to start and finish the rally were the 1400’s. Julian Wilkes & Will Rutherford-Child (Nova) took win number 5 and with it the championship winning this event by over a minute. Pushing them on this event were their only realistic title contenders Justin Lawson & Paul Hargreaves (Nova) who finished second. Completing the podium were Roger Priestnall & Jamie Forrest (Satria).

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