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WWRS14 Red Kite ARichard Hill and Pat Cooper took a dramatic final stage victory on today’s Red Kite Historic Stages (Sunday 2 February), the opening round of the West Wales Rally Spares R.A.C. Rally Championship.
 
With a fine 60-car line-up of championship contenders, the Red Kite delivered a cracking start to the season as crews tackled superb stages in the Caio and Crychan complexes. Despite all the pre-event rain, the stages were in excellent condition and heavy rain that returned as the leading crews tackled the deciding 15-mile stage in Crychan made conditions very challenging.
 
After leading from the start, Nick Elliott and Dave Price took a lead of 28s into the final stage in their Ford Escort Mk2. However, with two miles to go they were caught out by a bump and crashed out of the rally, leaving Hill and Cooper to win by 45s from the flying Terry Brown/Den Golding and Tomas Davis/Eurig Davies.
 
The first of two enthralling battles came in Category 1 as Ray Cunningham/Gary McElhinney (Mini Cooper) ended the rally tied with Simon Wallis/Graham Wride (Lotus Cortina). The Mini crew took the Category on a tie-break and also claimed first blood in the Aldon Automotive Mini and Imp Cup.
 
It was even closer in Category 2 as Chris Browne/Ali Cornwell-Browne beat fellow Escort Mk1 crew Roger Matthews/Paul Morris on another tie-break after pulling back a 1s deficit on the final stage. Browne got the nod after being a single second faster than Matthews over the opening stage.
 
Other category winners included Tom Coughtrie/Calvin Cooledge (Ford Escort Mk2) in Category K and Layton Waters/Kevin Bowcott (Toyota Starlet) in Category O.
 
Category winners were:
Category 1: Ray Cunningham/Gary McElhinney (Mini Cooper)
Category 2: Chris Browne/Ali Cornwell-Browne (Ford Escort Mk1)
Category 3: Richard Hill/Pat Cooper (Ford Escort Mk2)
Category K: Tom Coughtrie/Calvin Cooledge (Ford Escort Mk2)
Category O: Layton Waters/Kevin Bowcott (Toyota Starlet)
 
The West Wales Rally Spares R.A.C. Rally Championship is the only championship that runs historics first on the road on all events.
 
The Red Kite Stages was organised by Amman and District Motor Club. A more detailed event report will be circulated during Monday (3 February).
 
More details about the WWRS R.A.C. Rally Championship can be found at http://www.racrallychamp.org Follow the championship on Facebook at
http://www.facebook.com/RACrallychamp and on Twitter: @RACRallyChamp.

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