After losing the last two rounds of the championship, the Lindisfarne and the Tour of Hamsterley, the SG Petch ANECCC Stage Rally Championship returned to Otterburn for the Keith Knox Stages Rally. The day started dry and got gradually damper to finish with heavy rain on the last stage, this left tyre chose very difficult with many claiming they were on the wrong tyres.
Quickest out of the starting blocks were current championship leaders Richard and Edwin Cook (Vauxhall Astra) who were lying 3rd overall at first service after two stages, Barry and Michael Lindsay (Peugeot 106) were again confounding everyone by having the little 1600cc car in 5th overall, with William Jarman/Mark Fisher (Escort Cosworth) 3rd registered competitor in 15th, but they were suffering from a slipping clutch. We had already lost Kev Monaghan/Chris Purvis (Vauxhall Corsa) with a broken driveshalf. On the 4th stage the Cooks retired when the right front wheel studs sheared, fortunately Richard was able to stop the car without any further damage, when retrieving the wheel from a nearby stream the broken studs and wheel nuts were found under it. This was a “down to earth” rally for Edwin after being one of the star personalities on the Colin McRae Rally where he co-drove Louise Aitkin-Walker.
By 3rd service the Lindsay’s had moved up to 4th overall, where they stayed until the finish to gain their first maximum points of the year, Barry reported the last stage was exceptionally tricky when the cut slicks they had used all day had become slicks, just when they needed the tread the most. Jarman/Fisher turned the anti-lag system of on their Cosworth to help preserve the clutch, which it seamed to do as they got second place points for there 9th overall finish. Final points scorers were Sian Beaty/Dave Antrobus (Ford KA), Dave was on his second event in the co-drivers seat, so he must have impressed on his first outing on the Pendragon Stages, will his wife Julianne set it back of him.
The Cook’s retirement has closed things up at the top of the championship, where there lead over Jarman/Fisher is down to 10 points, with two forest rounds left, does this mean William Jarman’s 4 wheel drive Cosworth gives him the advantage in the SG Petch ANECCC Stage Rally Championship. The Lindsay’s are now 3rd one point behind Jarman/Fisher, but does their dislike of gravel mean their hopes are over. Marcus Noble/Helen Hall’s non appearance on Otterburn means they have slipped to 4th.
The championship now returns to the forests for the last two rounds, regs for the Malton Forest Rally on the 2nd November are now available on the clubs website www.maltonmc.co.uk
The final round is the Grizedale Stages Rally, based in Coniston in the Lake District, on Saturday 29th November 2008. Regs and entries are available from the website www.grizedalestages.co.uk. The rally features 6 stages totalling 41 miles with 58 miles of road section. Due to the loss of their usual service area the Organisers have made significant changes to the route - hence more road miles than usual - but have retained the usual format with 4 long stages in Grizedale and the short but fast Dunnerdale stage run twice at 30 secs. Between each pair of stages are 2 30min Service halts. Entry fees are tiered, starting with sub 1600cc cars at £345 which includes a Service Pack. Full colour maps by Pine lodge Maps are included in the entry fee or you can buy Safety Notes from Pattersons.
The latest championship news, Regulations and Entry Forms are available on the championship website – www.anecccstagerally.co.uk
If anyone has any questions please contact.
S G Petch ANECCC Stage Rally Championship Coordinator
Home - 0191 3773228
Mobile - 07799 140427
E-mail - gordon AT dundee.fsworld.co.uk.