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hamsterley14 (35)Our 2nd visit to the Tour of Hamsterley saw a superb win by Matt Edwards & Kim Baker (Escort MkII). Seeded at car 11 they set a first stage time outside of the top ten but after that they set the fastest time on 7 of the remaining 8 stages. They did not have it easy and only took the lead by a few seconds after the 3rd stage. Edwards then blitzed the two Raby Castle tests in the middle of the event. Matthew Robinson & Sam Collis (Escort MkII) were just 12 seconds behind after stage 5 but they did not come out Hamsterley forest as they retired on stage 8 with alternator failure. So it was now up to Nick Elliott & Dave Price to take up the chase, who had set fastest time on the first stage in their Escort MkII.

Elliott was fastest on stage 6, a re-run of stage 1, to close the gap to 13 seconds but then Edwards went 7s faster on stage 7 and a massive 19s on stage 8. With the rally in the bag Edwards still went 8s quicker than Edwards over the final Raby Castle test to win by 47 seconds. Jason Pritchard & Phil Clarke (Escort MkII) were a further 33 seconds back in 3rd overall, following the demise of Robinson. David Stokes & Guy Weaver (Escort MkI) took category 2 honours on their championship debut with Graham Waite & Gill Cotton (Amazon) victorious in category 1. In the modern rally Stephen Petch & Michael Wilkinson (Focus WRC) utterly dominated to win by over a minute and a half, even with 2 cancelled stages.

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