Escorts dominate historic rally as McCormack powers to victory

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The 160-mile Roger Albert Clark Rally was settled by just 17 secs when Martin McCormack and Phil Clarke’s Mk2 Escort took victory from 23-25 November.

Steve Bannister and Kevin Rae looked to have victory assured on the Yorkshire event in their Mk2, but thousands of spectators watched McCormack battle back through frost and fog – only sealing victory when his rival spun a mile from the finish.

Third place went to Will Onions and John Millington, despite suffering gearbox problems in their Mk2.

The treacherous conditions claimed several scalps including Tim Mason’s Porsche, which suffered damage to its front wing, while Dave Hemingway had a near miss with a bank of spectators.

Will Midgley and Jonathan Driver were engaged in their own woodland duel as they battled for class honours in their Group 3 Toyota Corolla.

Their 25-year-old car took victory in the final stage of the event, after its closest competition (another Toyota) crashed out three miles in.

The Corolla, which has the same livery as Team Toyota GB’s 1980s car, didn’t make it through the event completely unscathed, however, suffering steering problems and losing a cylinder.

Midgley said: “After that, everything was fairly trouble-free; we kept it on the road and it ran really well. Jonathan and I learned a lot. It was the first time for both of us navigating with maps, our first time rallying in the dark and our first time in fog – that’s a lot of firsts for one event.”

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