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harryflatters16 (5)A pleasant day up on the ranges saw drama at the top of the field, on the Harry Flatters. It all started on stage 1 when Damian Cole & Craig Drew (Fiesta WRC) dropped the best part of a minute, when they were well up on the field as they passed our location. A few changes at service followed but at the lunch break they were outside the top 3 and 31 seconds down on leaders Andy Fraser & Michael Calvert (Darrian T90 V6). With 25 seconds chipped off on stage 3 and another 16 seconds on stage 4, Cole was in the lead for the final stage. He duly set fastest time to win by 29 seconds but there was drama behind.

Fraser reached the end of the stage sounding rough and was collecting his time when fire engulfed the rear of the car. With the fuel pump still going the fire kept on being fed despite numerous fire extinguishers being emptied on the blaze. Eventually the fire was put out but so was the car as there was no way it could reach the final time control. With those close to the scene suffering the effects of burns and the fire smoke and fumes our thoughts go out to those affected and we wish them a speedy recovery.

Adrian Spencer & Mark Hewitt (Impreza WRC) were 2nd overall after two separate sheep strikes, the left front wing non existent after stage 1. Bob Fowden & Paul Wakely (Impreza WRC) completed the podium just 8 seconds ahead of the first 2WD crew home, Gareth Richards & Ian Jones (Darrian T90).

The Historic rally saw its fair share of turmoil too with Epynt masters Melvyn Evans & Patrick Walsh (Escort MkII) coming out on top by over a minute. They were not registered for the BHRC and the carnage amongst those crews was significant. Jason Pritchard & Phil Clarke (Escort MkII) were parked up on stage 2 retired, continuing a string of bad results. Pre-event RAC championship favourites Rob Smith & Alun Cook (Escort MkII) had major bodywork damage on stage 3 and were out. Will Onions & Aled Davies (Escort MkII) hit a sheep on stage 2 and then the engine went pop on middle road, in stage 3. Completing the bad day for the Pritchard’s, Dad Eian & Steve McPhee (Escort MkII) also retired mid event.

Neil Williams & Peter James (Escort MkII) were 3rd Historic crew after the first stage and after the retirement of Pritchard Jnr were fastest BHRC crew on all but one of the remaining stages. 2nd Historic and 1st BHRC crew by 40 seconds was just reward for a strong drive. Guy Woodcock & Richard Crozier (Escort MkII) pushed them hard and completed the podium. BHRC championship leader Paul Barrett & Dai Roberts (Escort MkII) consolidated their championship lead with 4th place.

First category 2 crew home, in 5th place, were Simon Tysoe & Paul Morris (Escort MkI) who put in a solid drive all event. Bob & Dale Gibbons (Cortina GT) were comfortable category 1 winners inn 19th place. There were the RAC championship crews mixed in too and Roger & Ashley Trimble (Escort MkII) took top spot by just over half a minute from Roger Matthews & Tom Marrott (Escort MkI). The podium was completed by the Belgian visitors Christophe Jacob & Isabelle Regnier (Escort MkII) on their first visit to Epynt.

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