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tyneside15 (9)In fitting with 2015 to date, Otterburn saw a mixture of damp, windy and sunny conditions which made for a challenging day on the military ranges. Our vantage point on stage 2 saw almost all of the top crews clip a wet wooden bridge mid-stage until Richard Sykes & Emma Morrison (DS3 R3T) made a considerably larger impact blocking the stage and halting the stage. Simon Mauger & Jonathan Hawkins (Metro 4M4) were fastest on two stages to lead Damian Cole & Jack Morton (Fiesta WRC) by just two seconds. Steve Simpson & Patrick Walsh (Impreza WRC) closed in from 3rd on the 2nd loop of stages with fastest times until a puncture on stage 6 saw them fall down the standings.

The general trend saw Mauger extend his lead over Cole with fastest times on stages 6,7 & 9 with Cole fastest on stage 8 and the gap now out to 14 seconds. Alex Laffey & Andrew Roughead (Fiesta R5+) were having a battle for 3rd with David Tinn & Giles Dykes (Satria Nero) which ended up going the way of Laffey by 16 seconds. Meanwhile out front Cole was fastest on stages 10 & 11, grabbing a second back on each stage, before a tie on the final stage saw Mauger take his 3rd win of the season and strengthen his chances of taking the 2015 title. With the top ten largely dominated by 4WD crews it came as no surprise that Barry & Michael Lindsay (106 GTi) were first 2WD crew home in 10th overall, demonstrating superb pace throughout the event and humbling the more powerful Escort MkII and BMW brigade.

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