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Berwickshire born Ross Hunter left last weekend’s Rally Isle of Man as Champion Driver of the 2014 NGK Spark Plugs BRC Challenge Trophy having fought tooth and nail to beat his old adversary, Richard Sykes on infamous twisty and fast island lanes. Syke’s co-driver Emma Morrison was also crowned Co-Driver Champion, taking more points than Josh Davison, because he hadn’t competed on all scoring rounds.

On the Thursday and Friday, the penultimate round of the NGK BRCC, 26 year old Hunter with Davison alongside, had a titanic battle on their hands, never more than a handful of seconds separating them from Richard Sykes and Morrison. But Midlands based Sykes, a former champion, had a 100mph accident on the penultimate stage on Friday morning, handing Hunter and Davison the win and maximum points.

Following the Friday teatime restart for the final point scoring opportunity of the season, Hunter had the advantage in the title race and when Sykes broke a driveshaft early on, the Scot merely had to keep his head for the title. Keen to impress and clearly revelling in the conditions, Hunter was running well up the overall leader board when he had a big spin on Saturday morning. This wake-up call, settled the pace and by the finish the venerable Peugeot 205 arrived in Douglas battered and bruised, but on top step of the podium for the second time in the weekend.

Unlucky not to finish their first visit to the Isle of Man, fellow Scots Graeme Sherry and Cameron Fair were thankful of the local Renault dealer who made it possible for them to re-start round six, only to stop two stages from home.

The double win and Championship drivers’ title rounds off what was a difficult year for Hunter who saw Sykes have all the good luck until the Manx event.

Ross Hunter has earned place on the Road to Wales, a free entry given by the event as a prize to join the national section on the final round of the World Rally Championship event, Wales Rally GB National Rally which will be held over 14-16th November.

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