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tyneside14 (13)Potentially turbulent weather look set to play havoc with the Tyneside Stages, which was round 5 of the asphalt championship. As it turned out there were only a few short sharp showers and it made little difference to the outcome. Damian Cole & Elliott Edmondson (Focus WRC) went fastest on the first stage which saw Steve Simpson & Pat Walsh (Impreza WRC) retire with clutch issues just after our vantage point. Peter Taylor & Andrew Roughead (Fiesta S2400) equalled Cole on stage 2 and then went a second faster on stage 3 to lie a second behind. The 2nd loop saw Cole drop time on stages 5 & 6 and taylor took the lead, which only grew as the event progressed. Taylor took victory by 17 seconds with six fastest stage times and four joint fastest times with Cole.

The only other driver to take a fastest stage time was Simon Mauger & Ashley Trimble (Escort MkII) who completed the podium a further 42 seconds back and almost a minute behind Taylor. John Stone & Carl Williamson (Fabia WRC) were 4th to maintain their championship lead with John Indri & Peter James (Impreza) rounded out the top 5. A total of 68 crews from the 89 who started finished the event in no small part due to the loss of the 6th loop of stages and late reduction in stage mileage due to changes from the MoD.

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