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Another good day up in North Yorkshire saw an exciting finale to both the BTRDA and BHRC seasons. With the title decided in the BTRDA it was a fight between 2017 Gold Star Champions Stephen Petch & Michael Wilkinson (Fiesta WRC), Charlie Payne & Carl Williamson (Fiesta WRC) and Hugh Hunter & Rob Fagg (Fiesta WRC). In the BHRC it was a straight fight between Jason Pritchard & Phil Clarke (Escort MkII) against Nick Elliott & Dave Price (Escort MkII) for the title, with local ace Steve Bannister & Callum Atkinson (Escort MkII) sure to be in the mix too.

Overnight the BHRC and Land Rover crews did one stage in Dalby and Pritchard took a 0.8s lead into Saturday, over title rival Elliott. Langdale at 14 miles was a big opening to Saturday and Elliott reversed the positions going just over 5 seconds faster than Pritchatrd, which was then followed up by fastest time through Staindale. Gale Rigg was next up and it proved pivotal as Elliott put his Escort MkII off, dropping a minute and a half, falling to 4th place and gifting Pritchard the lead. Elliott kept up the pressure through Cropton, taking 15 seconds back from Pritchard who now had to simply survive for BHRC title number 3. Bannister meanwhile now lead as Pritchard eased off and he extended that lead through the final stage to take yet another Trackrod Historic Rally victory. Pritchard was 2nd which was enough to take the title with Rudi Lancaster & Guy Weaver (Escort MkII) a fine 3rd ahead of a philosophical Elliott in 4th.

In the BTRDA Payne was fastest through Langdale by just 0.7s from Hunter, with Petch dropping time. Petch then clawed back over half the time dropped with fastest in Staindale. 2nd fastest time was enough to see Hunter take the lead from Payne. Hunter then retired with overheating at the regroup and with Payne fastest through Gale Rigg his lead grew to almost 10 seconds. Petch struck back on the next stage to lie 7.1s back, with the run through Dalby left. Petch took stage win number 3 from 5 but crucially was only 6.9s faster than Payne, missing out on victory by 0.2s. Completing the podium over a minute back were Thomas Preston & Stuart Loudon (Skoda R5). In the 2WD BTRDA battle David Bennett & Alistair McNeil (Corsa) were fastest by almost a minute from Daniel Beckham & Howard Pridmore (Fiesta RWD) who just finished ahead of Ashley Davies & Sam Fordham (Escort MkII) by 3.1s. Ed Fossey & Chris Sharpe-Simkiss (Yaris) were dominant winners in the 1400’s after Dave & Toby Brick (Nova) retired from the lead on the final stage.

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