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Carlisle Stages Henry16Irish crew Desi Henry and Liam Moynihan scored an emphatic victory on the DMACK Carlisle Stages (Saturday 11 June) after a superb field of cars battled over five special stages in the Newcastleton region of Kielder forest.

The rally, organised by the Roger Albert Clark Rally Motor Club, was a round of the Ravenol BTRDA Rally Series, the MSA English Rally Championship, the BTRDA Rally Challenge, the S G Petch Association of North East and Cumbria Car Clubs Stage Rally Championship, the Motoscope Northern Historic Rally Championship and the Association of Northern Car Clubs Forest Challenge. In addition, the event drew a strong entry of Scottish crews as well as several MSA British Rally Championship contenders seeking some extra gravel mileage.

A total of 111 cars left Carlisle on Saturday morning and 75 were finally classified as finishers. At a fraction under 14 miles, the Kershope stage was one of the longest gravel stages of the national rally season.

Henry and Moynihan headed an amazing field of quick cars and drivers including nearly a dozen R5 and WRC cars and took overall victory by 38s from Peter Taylor and Andrew Roughead (Ford Focus WRC). Taylor also finished second on the 2015 DMACK Carlisle Stages and won the inaugural event in 2013.

“It was a great rally and we really enjoyed it,” said Henry. “The stages were brilliant. We came here for mileage ahead of the Scottish Rally, the next BRC round, and we had a great day.”

Top of the BTRDA contenders was the Ford Fiesta of Charlie Payne and Carl Williamson. “You’ve got to respect Kielder and we had a 40-metre moment in a ditch,” said Payne. “It was a very good event and the 13/14 mile stages were fantastic.”

Heading the two-wheel drive entry was the Fiat 131 of Matthew Robinson and Graham Wilcock, which finished an excellent 21st overall as just three two-wheel drive cars finished in the top 30 overall. Another fine result came from Jordan and Paul Hone who were top 1400 finishers in their Proton Satria.

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