Sacha Kakad took top Group N honours in his Westbase backed Lancer Evo 10 at last weekend’s Nicky Grist Stages. Rally correspondent, Paul Willetts reports:?
The Builth Wells based event played host to the Prestone British Rally Championship, Ravenol BTRDA Championship and the Pirelli Welsh series, and offered 45 gravel miles in dry dusty conditions, plus 75 miles of tarmac on the Epynt military ranges on the Sunday for the British Rally Championship contenders.
Kakad and co-driver James Aldridge stopped the clocks second fastest in the hotly contested Group N battle, but the second fastest time overall on the first run through Halfway Forest moved him to the head of Group N, a lead he didn’t relinquish for the rest of the day to finish fifth overall and the Group N laurels by eight seconds.
Will Rogers teamed up with Peter Stephenson in the Able Demolition backed Ford Focus WRC for the first time, and had a fairly trouble free day in the hot conditions to take eighth overall and fifth in class.
Ross-on-Wye businessman, Paul Gunter, with Jack Walby on the notes in the BG Landrovers backed Escort RS1800 had a terrific run to 36th overall, second overall historic car and first in class, despite one or two trips through the scenery.
Jack said: “Its been a good day apart from stages one and five being ridiculously rough, which spoils a good event,” Paul has driven very well despite the heat and dust.”
Just behind the pair were Tim Phelps and Elwyn Manuel in the ex Adrian Struthers Escort RS; the drivers took 37th, and fifth in class B12.
Taking 41st overall and seventh in class was Tim’s brother Geoff Phelps in his Escort RS with Pete Wilson on the notes.
Graham Waite and Gill Cotton finished 50th overall and sixth in class in their 1600 Toyota Corolla.
Amongst the retirements on the gravel event was Dave Jenkins, making a rare outing alongside Tim Samuel in the Braces Bread RS1800, which was retired after stage two, due to engine issues.
Richard Cole and Matthew Nicolas retired the Richard Cole Contracting 1400 Escort after stage five, whilst gaining a strong third in class.
Sunday’s Spencer Sport Acropolis Clubman Rally attracted a very low entry of just 21 cars, with 28 BRC runners.
Pete Stephenson and Will Rogers carried over their brilliant performances from Saturday to finish fifth overall and fourth in class, with Tim Phelps and Elwyn Manuel taking eighth overall and second class, in the Escort RS.
Andy Stokes with Adrian McNally finished an excellent ninth overall and first in class on the Brawdy Stages. The pair also finished with maximum HRCR Old Stage championship points after 60 miles of abrasive tarmac on the roads of RAF Brawdy in Pembrokeshire last Sunday.