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Jason and Lee Wilson made the best possible start to their Heart of England campaign, taking victory in their Darrian T90 GTR, after finishing third overall in main rally too.

They had a seven seconds lead over Tim Baker/Neil Hallworth’s Talbot Sunbeam after the opening stage. “We went through a hedge too after going too fast into a blind chicane, “ said Wilson.

Ashley Furlong/Pete Phennah’s Renault Clio was in third, from Stefan Morris/Chris Ridge’s Escort, but Tony Davies/Ellie Williams’ were down in fifth after early drama’s in their Darrian T9. “We bent a wishbone and had two spins,” he explained.

As Wilson extended his lead on SS2, there was only a two second gap between Baker and Furlong for second. “I had outbraked myself and went over a lorry tyre. I was a bit cautious after that in case there was some damage,” said Baker.

Morris had spin too, while Matthew Curzon/Fiona Crump’s Escort was up to fifth, after Davies had more problems. “We had two more spins and bent another front wishbone on a kerb, so called it a day,” said the Darrian driver.

Wilson had an off on on the next stage but still increased his lead. “We had a big spin in an open space, to avoid hitting a kerb,” he explained.

Behind him Furlong was into second, seven seconds up on Baker, with Morris, Curzon/Crump and Richard Fletcher/Cassey Romeo’s Citroen C2 VTS the rest of the top six.

While Wilson eased through the rest of the day to take his win by almost seven minutes, the duel for second went down to the wire.”I had lost time on SS4 with a notional time after a stoppage, so had to push on for the last two stages, and everything went to plan,” said Furlong.

The notional time had dropped him back to second place with a nine second deficit to Baker, going into the penultimate stage. He pulled it back to one second and then sealed second and second in Class C on the final run.

Baker was unchallenged in Class D, but had to settle for third overall. “I let a Darrian passed on the last stage and expected it to pull way, but it didn’t and I lost time,” he explained.

Fourth HOE contender and a disappointing third in Class C was Morris, “I just couldn't progress, it felt like I was driving the door handles off, then saw my times and I obviously wasn’t. We overshot and hit a bale on SS4 but no other dramas,” he said.

Fiona Crump picked up fourth and fourth in Class C, sitting in with Matt Curzon in his Escort, while Fletcher maintained his Class B lead from sixth place. “The car performed really well, but we had an overshoot on SS3 and it was only my girlfriend’s third event, so challenging for her,” said Fletcher.

Keith Daniels/Rhys Williams’ Corsa was next home, with a dominant Class A win, after Matt/Adrian Walk’s Fiesta became a first stage casualty. “We got hit by another car and it bent the steering,” Matt explained.

Eifion/Ioan Thomas had a good clean run in their Peugeot 206 Gti. “We had sorted our brakes from last time out, but no dramas this time,” said Eifion.

Tony North/Richard Mason’s Impreza was unnopposed in Class E too, coming in ninth, while Jonathan/Dylan Davies’ Peugeot 206 Gti completed the top 10, with sixth in class C.

Connor/Gary Powell’s Citroen Saxo VTS was 11th but secured second in Class B, having slipped ahead of Classic runners Simon Tattersall/Reece Brookes’ Escort on the final stage.

In the Historic Class Bill Douglas/Dave Tearl’s Volvo 244GL ran solo, while Andrew /Hollie Leigh Norris’ Fiesta were 14th and runners up in Class A.

Steven Knott/Andrew Thomas’ Peugeot 206 and Liam Jack Farr/Kyle Malkin’s Citroen Saxo completed the finishers and were third and fourth in Class B.

Published by Peter Scherer for the AWMMC Heart of England Rally Championship


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