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SONY DSCWell there was no ice to contend with this year on the Wyedean, instead we got mud and lot’s of it for our 30th time on this event. Going into the final stage the top 4, (a Welshman, Scotsman, Englishman and Irishman), were separated by just 11 seconds going into the final stage. Sadly Euan Thorburn & Paul Beaton (Focus WRC) were first to fall. They did not make it through stage 7 and dropped from 2nd place overall. Hugh Hunter & Andy Marchbank (Focus WRC) were leading going into the final stage but came out of it 10 seconds behind the eventual winners, some ten seconds down. This left David Wright & Michael Wilkinson (Evo IX), who was 3rd, battling for the lead with Connor McCloskey & Francis Regan (Impreza WRC). McCloskey was 4th, 11 seconds behind Hunter going into the last stage and as he had passed out position we had him 12 seconds up on Hunter, with a 3rd of the stage to go. Wright was 4 seconds up on Hunter going into the final stage and was 4 seconds faster to our position. In the end Wright did enough to beat Hunter by 3 seconds but McCloskey kept up his high pace to win by 7 seconds from Wright. A fantastic finale to the BTRDA season opener.

In the Silver Star Will Onions & Dave Williams (Escort MkII) were comfortable winners, taking 8th overall, by over a minute from Theo Bengry & Les Forsbrook (Escort MkII). Bengry had a slight advantage running in the Historic field ahead of the main open field as he took top spot in that section of the rally. Robert Barrett & Pamela Hilton (Escort MkII) were a fine 3rd just beating Mark Griffiths & Tom Marrott (Escort MkII) by 4 seconds. In the Historics Pete Smith & Patrick Walsh (Escort MkI) were 2nd with Roger Matthews & Paul Morris (Escort MkI) rounded out the Historic podium.

Last mention but first to finish were the 1400’s which saw Julian Wilkes & Will Rutherford-Child (Nova) take there now customary Wyedean win. They did not have it all their own way and their 58 second victory margin came after only going 3rd fastest through the first stage. Wyedean debutant Mat Smith & Giles Dykes (Ka) provided a scare as they were fastest, but from then on Wilkes stamped his authority on the event. Still 2nd was a good result on Smith’s first visit to these stages and 3rd went to David Bennett & Alistair McNeil (Corsa) after they too went faster than Wilkes on the opening stage.

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