Organiser: Ilkley & District Motor Club Date: August 29/30 Where: North Yorkshire
Championships: None Route: 130 Miles Starters: 30.
The resurrected Colman Tyres Rally was won in convincing style by Dan Willan/Martyn
Taylor. They moved up from third place at the halfway point to finish with a winning
margin of over two minutes.
This was the first running of the ex-MN Championship road rally since 1989 and fittingly
crews were flagged away by three times Motoring News Champion Ron Beecroft. The route
took competitors on a long loop northwards from the its Otley base to Grinton before
returning south and its start point.
The Derbyshire pairing of Richard Hunter/Gary Evans, who have put in a number of
impressive performances lately, were the early pace setters. They were fastest over
the short opening section at Blubberhouse Moor and then cleaned the rest of the first
half to lead by 12 seconds at Petrol. From a start number of 15 Alexander Green/Tom
Fenton held second.
Both of these leading crews hit problems in the second half. Hunter/Evans struggled
with the route on one section and missed a code board. They eventually finished in
sixth place. Green/Fenton had even bigger problems; a mis-plot meant that they missed
a time control, this put them outside the top ten.
In contrast Willan/Taylor had a near faultless run back south and were clear winners
at the end. Mark Standen/Richard Crozier survived a close encounter with a bridge
to take the runner up spot and made it a Proton 1-2; perhaps not surprising when
the Malaysian marquee accounted for almost half the entry.
Top seeds Carl Hawkins/Iain Tullie had a troubled run before their Colt succumbed
to clutch failure.