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tourofepynt16 (8)After a cloudy start the Tour of Epynt was played out under glorious spring sunshine, with tyre choices now all based upon how soft the crews wanted the rubber to be. The top 4 were hard to separate over the opening pair of stages with Steve Simpson & Patrick Walsh (Impreza WRC) taking the lead by 3 seconds from Damian Cole & Paul Morris (Fiesta WRC) tied with Simon Mauger & Jonathan Hawkins (Metro 4M4). The 2nd loop saw Simpson extend his lead as Cole put a few seconds between himself and Mauger. With Simpson having beat the bogey time on stage 4 he then did the same on stage 5 to extend his lead and remained untouchable for the rest of the day, to take victory.

Meanwhile behind Cole dropped 20 seconds on stage 5, to fall back to 3rd place behind Mauger. With Mauger on form in 2nd place, Cole would be hard pressed to gain 16 seconds back with just two stages to go. Instead he had the more immediate threat from Adrian Spencer & Mark Hewitt (Impreza WRC) close behind. Spencer then gained time on Cole through stage 6 and the pair were level with one stage remaining. Visibly pushing really hard through the final stage Cole managed to gain a second on Spencer to finish 3rd overall, 27 seconds behind Mauger and 56 seconds off the winning pace of Simpson.

With grip aplenty Kevin & Charles Tappin (Escort MkII) were excellent value all day and the first 2WD crew home and a creditable 8th overall. Just over 40 seconds behind were Roger Moran & Den Golding (Escort MkII), in 11th overall, with Mark Jones & Ken Owen (BMW M3) completing the 2WD top three.


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