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tyneside16 (3)Strong gusting winds ravaged the Otterburn ranges as the crews took on the Tyneside Stages. Damian Cole & Paul Morris (Fiesta WRC) took the opening stage by 5 seconds and never looked back. The lead incremented out slowly as a result of 4 fastest stage times and 4 equal fastest stage times, including fastest times on the final two in drizzly conditions, to see an eventual winning margin of 22 seconds for Cole. After a recent string of bad fortune up at Otterburn, Steve Simpson & Patrick Walsh (Impreza WRC) were 2nd overall but they had a tough battle event long with Alex Laffey & Andrew Roughead (Fiesta R5 Evo).

Simpson was equal 2nd fastest with Laffey on stage 1, before Laffey moved ahead on stage 2 as the pair then swapped seconds through the first six stages, with Laffey just ahead at the halfway point. Stages 7 & 8 saw a number of crews beat the bogey so it remained status quo. Simpson pulled ahead on stage 9 and then extended his lead second by second over the final 3 stages to finish 12 seconds ahead. With the conditions tricky to master the first 2WD crew home were Andy Bird & Plug Pulleyn (Chevette) back in 13th overall.

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