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grizedale12 (10)It was an icy one for our first visit to the Grizedale Stages in 3 years. It played it’s part too as 2011 winners Dave Wright & Michael Wilkinson (Evo IX) ere early victims on the first stage. Pre-event most people would have picked Paul Bird & Kirsty Riddick (Focus WRC) in car no.2 for the win, but they did not have a good start either and only took the lead on stage 4 after a sluggish time on stage 1 saw Alex Allingham & Mark Glennerster (Impreza). Bird then retired on the final stage which allowed Allingham to take a well deserved and comfortable victory.

Over 3 minutes back the battle for what had been 3rd and then became 2nd, saw drama all the way to the finish. Stephen Petch & Ian Windress (Accent WRC) held 3rd place by 8 seconds, after the 4th stage. Josh Moffett & John Rowan (Evo IX) were a fine 4th after being seeded at car no.16 but 12 seconds behind them were Oliver Mellors & Daniel Barritt (Satria Neo S2000) were in a fine 5th place. 17yr old Mellors gave it all on the final stage, his 3rd ever event and 1st on gravel. He set second fastest time to Allingham and went 9 seconds faster than Moffett and 24 seconds quicker than Petch. It was enough to promote Mellors to 3rd overall, with Moffett snatching 2nd place by 3 seconds thanks to Bird’s retirement. Petch dropped to 4th after what had been a quite remarkable event, with a top 3 few would have predicted.

There was also a small Historic section running at the head of the field and a 1400 field too. Connor Corkhill & Mark Perryman (Escort MkII) took the historics by over two minutes and 11th overall with Brian McGuinness & Ian Harden (Corsa) victorious in the 1400’s and 24th overall.

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