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SONY DSCA superb day and a close battle at the top saw the 2013 Plains Rally go the way of Euan Thorburn & Paul Beaton (Focus WRC). The winning margin was only 3 seconds from Connor McCloskey & Francis Regan (Impreza WRC) with Charlie Payne & Paul Spooner (Focus WRC) a further 10 seconds back. McCloskey was the fastest out of the blocks and took the opening stage by 7 seconds from Payne. He then backed this up on stage 2 before Payne went fastest time on SS3 to maintain the gap. Thorburn then took his first stage win after service to close in but it was on Gartheiniog where he took a staggering 16 seconds out of McCloskey to take the lead by 7 seconds. On the final stage Stephen Petch & Ian Windress (Focus WRC) were fastest with McCloskey taking 4 seconds out of Thorburn to make it a close finish.

In the 2WD battle it was a case of who could beat Ieuan Rowlands & Emyr Hall (Escort MkII). With a string of fastest times, on familiar stages, Rowlands duly took victory but he had been run very close by Matthew Robinson & Nigel Hutchinson (Escort MkII) who were only 18 seconds behind. Perhaps Rowlands was driving too spectacular and losing time going sideways but in terms of entertainment he was in a class of his own. His brother John, co-driven by Llion Williams, was on for 3rd place in his Escort MkII) but a puncture on the penultimate stage saw him lose over half a minute and he slipped to 4th behind Mark Spencer & Steve Pugh (Escort MkII).

And lastly in the 1400’s with no Julian Wilkes present Mat Smith & Giles Dykes (Ka) kept there championship push going after sitting out the Somerset Stages. They took a comfortable win just over 40 seconds but a statement had been made by Dan Evans & Chris Ridge (Nova) in 2nd place. The son of former 1400 champion Ian Evans showed the rally driving gene had been passed down to him with his best result to date. In his first full season he looks to have the making of a future champion. Completing the podium thanks to final stage push were Dave Bennett & Alistair McNeil (Corsa) who pipped Roger Priestnall & Jamie Forrest (Satria) by 1 second overall.

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