Nick Elliott and Dave Price made it two wins from two rounds in the 2017 Mintex MSA British Historic Rally Championship with a resounding victory on the historic section of Rally North Wales (Saturday 1 April).
The Ford Escort Mk2 crew finished with a winning margin of 1m21s over defending champions Jason Pritchard and Phil Clarke after 45 miles of prime Welsh forest stages. Other category wins went to Phil Harris/Richard Suter (Mini Cooper) and Stanley Orr/Stephen McAuley (Ford Escort Mk1).
Fast, flowing stages in excellent conditions made this a very popular event with all the historic crews, although it was wet, slippery and misty at times the opening 11-miler in Gartheiniog. But that didn’t bother Elliott who attacked the stage in style to open an immediate and decisive lead.
Pritchard struggled to find a rhythm and dropped to third behind Joe Price/Chris Brooks. With a 29s deficit to Elliott at main service, Price led the chase but had a moment on the second Gartheiniog stage and parked his Escort on its side and out of the rally.
Pritchard/Clarke re-took second place but were so nearly caught on the final Dyfi stage when Rudi Lancaster/Guy Weaver trimmed the gap to a single second in the fight for the runner-up position. Elliott/Price won Category 3 while Pritchard/Clarke headed Category K.
Other Category 3 class winners, following strong performances, were Ben Friend/Cliffy Simmons (Ford Escort Mk2) in D3 and David Hopkins/Tony Vart (Sunbeam Talbot) in D2.
Stanley Orr/Stephen McAuley set the pace in the Capital Construction Category 2 as Orr gained useful seat time in his BDA-powered Escort Mk1. They emerged clear winners ahead of good runs for Phil Jobson/Arwel Jenkins and Bob Bean/Malcolm Smithson.
In Class C2 it was another battle of the Hillman Avengers as Elliot Retallick/Tim Tugwell headed Andrew Stokes/Adrian McNally in the BHRC order. Simon Pickering and Paul Barbet (Ford Escort Mk1) claimed class C3, just as they did on the Red Kite.
In the Vintage Car Radiator Company Category 1, the Mini Cooper of Phil Harris/Richard Suter headed the Ford Cortina GT of Mike Barratt/Emily Retallick. Both crews enjoyed the road conditions, although Harris had a big scare when he nearly put the Mini off the road.
1 Phil Harris/Richard Suter (Mini Cooper)
2 Mike Barratt/Emily Retallick (Ford Cortina GT)
1 Stanley Orr/Stephen McAuley (Ford Escort Mk1)
2 Phil Jobson/Arwel Jenkins (Ford Escort Mk1)
3 Bob Bean/Malcolm Smithson (Ford Escort Mk1)
4 Eliot Retallick/Tim Tugwell (Hillman Avenger)
5 Jeremy Easson/Mike Reynolds (Datsun 240Z)
Category K and Category 3
1 Nick Elliott/Dave Price (Ford Escort Mk2)
2 Jason Pritchard/Phil Clarke (Ford Escort Mk2)
3 Rudi Lancaster/Guy Weaver (Ford Escort Mk2)
4 Tim Freeman/Paul Williams (Ford Escort Mk2)
5 Ben Friend/Cliffy Simmons (Ford Escort Mk2)
1 Jake Scannell/Adrian Stevens (Toyota Corolla)
Phil Harris/Richard Suter (Mini Cooper); Mike Barratt/Emily Retallick (Ford Cortina GT); Retallick/Tugwell; Simon Pickering/Paul Barbet (Ford Escort Mk1); Orr/McAuley; David Hopkins/Tony Vart (Sunbeam Talbot); Friend/Simmons; Elliott/Price; Pritchard/Clarke; Jake Scannell/Adrian Stevens (Toyota Corolla).
Elliott (SS1 – SS6)