ROBINSON REAPS REWARDS AS ELLIOTT EXITS
Matt Robinson / Dave Robson scored a dominant victory on the Historic Section of the Pirelli International Rally, the latest round of the FUCHS Lubricants Motorsport UK British Historic Rally Championship, profiting from the demise of early leaders Nick Elliott / Dave Price who misread a chicane to crash out of the event on only the second stage. The rally had an early rate of attrition, Tom Coughtrie / Ian Fraser (Mitsubishi), Tom Herad / Ian McCutcheon (Escort) and Keith Davison / Henry Richardson (Avenger) all stopped before they even reached the opening stage which saw Alan Walker / Will Rogers roll their Ford Escort, Walter Henderson / Jim Kinloch had their Escort’s engine die on the start line and Rob Graham / Helen Harkness slid off the road.
Elliott had been quickest on the opening stage but all went wrong on the following one as he was caught out near the stage finish, crashing out and sustaining a broken wrist. Robinson profited as he was the only car not to get a notional time and moved into the lead ahead of Joe Price / Chris Brooks. Rob Smith / Alun Cook retired on this stage with bent steering as did Jim Robertson / Mike Curry (Escort) with a misfire and Linzi Henderson / Tom Hynd (Fiesta) with a defunct Clutch.
After a quick service, the action resumed with the fast Roughside stage where Robinson headed Price by some 10 seconds with Adrian Hetherington / Ronan O’Neill putting in a quick time to move up into third place. The final stage was the equally fast Pundershaw where extensive tree felling has made it a lot easier to see the road ahead. Robinson stamped his authority on the event, 15 seconds quicker than Price who just shaded Hetherington. There was a sting in the tail for the Talbot Sunbeam of Malcolm and Ron Mounsey who slid off with the finish in sight.