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No5cThe gravel rallying season got underway in snowy conditions on the Red Kite Stages and with conditions getting better as the early crews scrubbed the snow off the stages, it was David Stokes & Guy Weaver (Escort MkI) were early leaders. With stage 2 cancelled and another fastest stage time on stage 3 Stokes now had a 12 second lead at service from 2014 winner Richard Hill & Iwan Jones (Escort MkII). The afternoon would prove to be different as the snow had largely gone. Jason Pritchard & Phil Clarke (Escort MkII) were fastest on stage 4 to close in on the top 3, as Terry Brown & Den Golding (Escort MkII) jumped up to 2nd overall, just 7 seconds behind Stokes.

Stage 5 was a reduced version of the cancelled stage 2 which had seen most of the snow thaw but significant patches favoured the later runners still. Amongst the top 4 Hill was fastest, just. He moved back ahead of Brown so it came down to the final stage and Stokes held a 5 second lead over Hill. The top 4 was turned upside down as Pritchard set a stunning time going 11 seconds faster Hill, who was a second faster than Brown. Stokes meanwhile was 12 seconds slower which dropped him to 4th overall. Pritchard had snatched victory on the final stage with Hill and Brown completing the podium.

In the categories it was victory for Ian Beveridge & Paul Price (PV544) in the Historics, category 1, with Stokes taking category 2. Hill took top spot in category 3 and the FIA class went to overall winner Pricthard.

The modern rally saw a rare gravel outing for Melvyn Evans & Mark Glennerster (Impreza WRC) who took victory by 16 seconds from Charlie Payne & Carl Williamson (Fiesta WRC). Russ Thompson & Andy Murphy (Evo IX) were just over half a minute back in third place. Top 2WD crew were Max Utting & Mike Ainsworth (Fiesta ST) in 6th overall.

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