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Nick Elliott and David Price emerged to take maximum points on the final round of the Mintex MSA British Historic Rally Championship, the Trackrod Historic Cup (25/26 September). BHRC15 Trackrod B

The annual charge through the Yorkshire forests, starting in the darkness of Friday evening, brought the season to an excellent finish with the Yorkshire countryside bathed in sunshine. The event also marked the end of the BHRC’s first season under the management of the Roger Albert Clark Rally Motor Club.

Steve Bannister, who is not registered for the BHRC, took historic victory after a fierce battle with Matthew Robinson/Sam Collis. However, Robinson went out with a high-speed roll in Dalby and at almost the same moment Jason Pritchard and Phil Clarke retired after a slower speed roll earlier in the stage.

Those two retirements elevated Elliott to top BHRC scorer and allowed him to clinch the Category 3 title. Next up was a tremendous result for Simon Webster and Jez Rogers, as Webster took his best-ever result.

After two stages in the dark on Friday evening and two more on Saturday morning, Robinson was 2.8s up on Bannister in pursuit of overall victory but then came a daylight run through Dalby. Sadly, it all went wrong on a fast section and the car hit a tree and rolled. “We’ve scattered it down Sneverdale,” said Robinson.

For Elliott and Price, who needed a maximum championship score to snatch the RSR Historic Engineering Category 3 title, the retirement of Pritchard and Robinson in the space of three miles handed Elliott second overall and the result he needed to edge Richard Hill for the Category 3 crown. “I thought I might catch Jason, but Matthew was away and gone,” said Elliott.

Steve Bennett and Iain Tullie should have moved up to third for Bennett’s best historic result to date, but a moment in the grass in Langdale ended against a hidden tree stump. Into third, for a career best result, went Simon Webster and Jez Rogers. “I’ve never been so fast in a rally car,” said Webster after a very impressive Yorkshire debut.

Behind Webster was the Escort Mk2 of Mark and Ed Bentley, who had a very good run despite a cracked exhaust manifold, while another sibling pair in Phil and Mick Squires were next after yet another trouble-free rally.

Ian Jones and Iestyn Williams bagged Class D3 after a good run on unfamiliar stages in their Meirion Evans-tended Escort Mk2 Pinto. Chris Skill and Captain Thompson were relieved to make the finish and win Class D2 with an ailing engine in their Escort Mk2. “We just about killed the engine in Dalby, but it has done 14 rallies,” said Skill.

In the Capital Construction Category 2, John Perrott and Keaton Williams claimed victory on the rally and in the championship after a fabulous contest with the similar Escort Mk1s of Warren Philliskirk/Nigel Hutchinson and Ernie Graham/Will Graham. Just six seconds covered the three cars after more than an hour of rallying. “I knew I couldn’t be beaten for the class title so I was on it for the afternoon loop,” said Perrott. “It’s been a very good day,” said Philliskirk despite an off in Dalby on Friday evening that damaged the steering.

James Slaughter and last minute stand-in co-driver Jim Goodman won Class C3 in Slaughter’s Escort Mk1. “The Pinto is too slow in there,” said Slaughter of the Yorkshire stages. “We spent a lot of time on the rev limiter.” Terry Cree and Richard Shores (BMW 2002) were second in the C3 points, while Phil Jobson and Arwel Jenkins overcame a catalogue of problems just to get their Escort to the finish.

In class C2, Dave Watkins and Tom Jordan took maximum points on their home event in Dave’s ex-works Escort Mk1.

The BMW 1800 of Bill Douglas/Roger Nevitt won the Walker Diecastings Category 1 after the Lotus Cortina of Paul Mankin/Desmond Bell retired with a broken halfshaft on the last loop of stages.

Category winners:
Category 1: Bill Douglas/Roger Nevitt (BMW 1800)
Category 2: John Perrott/Keaton Williams (Ford Escort Mk1)
Category 3: Nick Elliott and David Price (Ford Escort Mk2)

Provisional final overall championship points:
1 Jason Pritchard/Phil Clarke 416
2 John Perrott/Keaton Williams 351
3 Nick Elliott/David Price 328
4 Richard Hill/Iwan Jones 318
5 Ernie Graham/Will Graham 308
Etc.

The Trackrod Historic Cup was organised by Trackrod Motor Club.

More details about the Mintex MSA British Historic Rally Championship can be found at http://www.historicrallying.org
Follow the championship on Facebook at http://www.facebook.com/MSABHRC and on Twitter: @MSABHRC2015

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