The Price is Right for Pirelli
In an action packed event where late dramas turned the leader board on its head, Joe Price/ Chris Brooks (Ford Escort) avoided the errors others made to score a comfortable win in the Historic Section of the Pirelli Carlisle Rally, a result which will radically change the positions in the Mintex MSA British Historic Championship following the demise of former front runners, Jason Pritchard and Nick Elliott. Price had half a minute to spare over second placed Paul Barrett/ Max Freeman while third place for the Fiat 131S of Matt Robinson/ Sam Collis ensured that Ford Escorts didn’t have a clean sweep of the podium positions.
Elliott had established a clear lead at the halfway point but slid in to one of Kielder’s many ditches on stage three and Price seized his opportunity, setting fastest time on the final stage to consolidate his position. There was a late surge from Steve Bannister/ Callum Atkinson but they just couldn’t find enough speed to snatch a podium finish, behind them, Stanley Orr/ Guy Weaver( Escort RS2000 put in another solid performance to clinch class C3 and there were also class wins for Guy Anderson/ Steven Davey (Talbot Sunbeam), Simon Tysoe/ Paul Morris (Ford Escort RS1600) and Chris Skill/ Tom Jordan (Escort).
Elliott Retallick/ Tim Tugwell took their Hillman Avenger to another class C1 victory and the B4 class was won yet again by the Lotus Cortina of the ageless Bob Bean, the septuagenarian defying the years with another stirring performance. There were dramas for Mark Fowler/ Chris Dewsnap and Andy Kelly/ Campbell Roy who both rolled their Ford Escort out of the event while a final sting in the tail saw Rudi Lancaster/ George Gwynne( Ford Escort ) grind to a stop on the very last stage when well placed in sixth position.
As ever, the event ran smoothly and without delays with the fine weather which replaced the previous day’s snow and sleet a welcome bonus.