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More sun and soaring temperatures greeted the crews as they assembled on Saturday morning for the Nicky Grist Stages Rally. Starting from the Royal Welsh Showground in Builth Wells, the rally used classic stages such as Halfway, Route 60 and Crychan forming part of a revamped route for 2018. A brand new stage, Llyn Login, would bring a fresh challenge as the first stage of the event, one that Scott was really looking forward to.

“I can’t wait to get going again this weekend, it’s not been long since the Red Kite and we’re hoping we’ve sorted our tyre woes out from the last round. The heat will really play a part again today so we’ve opted to use the new Hankook 213 pattern tyre in their hardest compound.”

Coming out of the rally’s new first stage, it was apparent Scott and Gareth meant business out of the blocks. The tyres were working very well with a 14th fastest stage time, lying 3rd in group N and stretching a lead of 13 seconds over Welsh Championship rival Wug Utting.

Stage two was the familiar test through Route 60, the crew, however, lost 18 seconds to the Group N leader Russ Thompson, but inherited second as Pat Naylor picked up a puncture. Through stage three, Halfway, Scott and Gareth beat the Group N leader Thompson by three seconds – maintaining second in class and moving up to 15th overall. The last stage before lunch was Crychan and with the tyres standing up very well to the high temperatures, Scott and Gareth pushed on to set a time only 7 seconds off Thompson as he stretched his lead in the class.

“The car is working really well! We’re having a great time in the car today” Scott exclaimed at the mid – day service. “The tyres are spot on and the balance of the car is great! The stages feel a bit loose at times but we had such a good run through the new stage, we’re comfortable at the moment”.

After lunch the crews headed back out to complete the first four stages for a second time. Again Scott and Gareth would take a massive 10 seconds out of their closest rivals in Lyn Login moving up to 14th overall, still behind class leader Thompson. A faultless, consistent and measured drive through the last three stages meant Scott and Gareth would take 2nd in class on this notoriously difficult event. This was enough to take the win in the Welsh Championship class and closed the gap to the championship leaders.

“I’m over the moon with this result. The car was faultless, Gareth was faultless and to be honest so was I. There were no mistakes all day and we had a cruise to the finish in the afternoon, just staying out of trouble. This is exactly what we needed – a great haul of Welsh Championship points as we aim to get ahead of Wug in the Group N class battle.”

The next event sees the team return to Ludlow for the Woodpecker Stages on 1st September.

Scott would like to thank key sponsors Professional Motorsport World Expo, C1-R and Arnside Motorsport for their continued support throughout 2018.

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