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WWRS14 pre-Trackrod14The West Wales Rally Spares R.A.C. Rally Championship heads to the mighty Yorkshire stages for the seventh and final rally of the season, the Trackrod Historic Cup (Friday/Saturday 26/27 September).

The event will also mark the final event in the championship’s 2014 Northern Challenge as well as the last round of the highly successful Kumho Clubmans Challenge for crews competing on a maximum of six tyres for the event.

Although the overall championship has now been won by Nick Elliott and Dave Price (Ford Escort Mk2), another tremendous entry will gather in Pickering for the chance to tackle classic Yorkshire stages, some of them in the darkness of Friday evening.  This event will mark the end of the first chapter in the R.A.C. Rally Championship story as in 2015 the Roger Albert Clark Rally Motor Club will take over the running of the MSA British Historic Rally Championship.

But for now the focus is firmly on round seven of what has been a superb season of competition and there is still much to play for as the championship heads to Yorkshire.

Leading the field away will be the pre ’68 cars in the Walker Diecastings Category 1, where the Mini Cooper of Ray Cunningham and Arron Forde heads the entry and is looking good to secure the overall category title. Ranged against the incredibly rapid Mini will be the Lotus Cortina of the evergreen Bob Bean and his youthful co-driver Malcolm Smithson. Bob has been rallying for half a century and is as competitive as ever for what will be a welcome return to the stages after an accident on the Tour of Hamsterley back in April. Adding great variety to the Category 1 field will be the rapid Volvo PV544 of Ian Beveridge/Graham Wride and the wonderful Saab 96 of Stephen Higgins/Don Bramfoot.

In the Capital Construction Category 2, David Stokes and Guy Weaver head the field in their Ford Escort Mk1 and have already clinched the category title during a very busy season. They’ll be aiming to sign off their championship campaign with another win, but could face a big challenge from local aces Warren Philliskirk and Nigel Hutchinson and Chris Browne/Ali Cornwell-Browne in their similar cars.

There is a class title to be resolved in Class C3 where Peter Smith and Patrick Walsh (Opel Ascona) go up against the Ford Escort Mk1 of David Kirby and Chris Rixon. Although Kirby has a small lead, the dropped scores scenario could push the advantage back towards local legend Smith in his fabulous Opel. Another strong local contender is Steve Magson from Pickering who is co-driven by Darren Smith in his Escort Mk1, while packing out the quality C3 entry is the Pinto-powered Escort Mk1 of Phil Jobson and Arwel Jenkins.

Running alongside the Category 1 cars at the head of the field will be the 1600cc cars from Category 2 with the Escort Mk1 of Robin Shuttleworth/Ron Roughead leading the way from the increasingly rapid Hillman Avenger of Barry Jordan/James Gratton-Smith.

The Holton Homes Category K is topped by the FIA specification Ford Escort Mk2 of Tom Coughtrie and Calvin Cooledge, while Elliott and Price head yet another mighty entry for the Rob Smith Rallying Category 3 in their Ford Escort Mk2. With the title secure, Elliott can go all out to show his pace in forests that are less familiar than those in Wales for the Cheltenham driver.

Out to take the fight to Elliott will be 2013 winner Matt Edwards with Kim Baker alongside. Edwards has shown tremendous pace on limited outings in his Escort Mk2, despite a dose of misfortune, and his speed this weekend will be watched with great interest.

More major contenders for overall victory include Matthew Robinson and Sam Collis after a stellar season in their Escort Mk2 and Richard Hill/Steffan Evans who are fighting for the runner-up position in the overall championship. More very quick Escorts line up in class D5 in the hands of local ace Tim Pearcey and his Scottish co-driver Neil Shanks, Tim Freeman/Paul Williams and, after a year out of the driving seat, Alan Walker and Jez Rogers.

In class D3, the season-long contest between the Ford Escort Mk2s of John Baker/Seyyan John and Paul Fry/Mike Steele continues, while welcome newcomers in class D4 are Gary Cooper and Jon Riley in a Sunbeam Lotus.

An encouraging entry of Class D2 cars will run at the head of the rally, including new class champions Dave Hopkins and Tony Vart (Talbot Sunbeam). However, they face a fierce challenge here in Yorkshire from the Ford Escort Mk2s of Chris Skill/Glenn Hall and David Goose/Caron Tomlinson, while Keith Davison and Henry Richardson are back in their Chrysler Avenger. Also in D2, Welsh crew Ceiriog Hughes and Emyr Jones make a welcome return in their Toyota Corolla.

Running alongside the historics are the cars in R.A.C. Category O for open two-wheel drive cars and the entry is headed by the very rapid Opel Manta of brothers Simon and Alister Crook. Their opposition includes the Ford Escort Mk2s of Barry Stevenson-Wheeler/John Pickavance and brothers Neil and Simon Dwyer as well as the Escort Mk1 of Alan and Liam Carfrae.

The Trackrod Historic Cup is organised by the Trackrod Motor Club. For more details about the event please visit http://www.trackrodmotorclub.co.uk.

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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