Alfa crew snatches victory on final section of four-day rally

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The gripping Rally of the Tests went down to the wire with Paul Wignall and Mark Appleton squeezing into the lead in their 1959 Alfa Romeo Giulietta Sprint only on the final section.

After four tough days on the road, the duo's fourth victory – on only the 12th running of the rally – bumped the 1964 Porsche 356 of long-time leaders Jan Ebus and Iain Tullie into second spot.

Ryan Pickering and Andy Ballantyne completed the podium in their 1962 Triumph TR4. 

Some 81 cars – from as far afield as Canada – had set off from Chester on 31 October for the Classic Rally Association-organised event and an impressive 69 of them made it to the finish in Harrogate on 3 November.

Jeremy Dickson, CRA Event Director, said: “It was a fantastic and tough event. The new route created by Clerk of the Course Guy Woodcock took competitors through some great roads and test venues.

“We had bad weather on Friday and Saturday so competitors and marshals had to contend with torrential rain and high winds, but these didn’t demoralise the crews. The rain also made Oulton Park extremely difficult to handle, the circuit was very slippery and drivers struggled to keep the cars on the track.”

The Rally of the Tests was the final round of the FIA Trophy for Historic Regularity Rallies and the fifth qualifying round of the HERO Cup, in association with EFG International. The finale of the 2013 HERO Cup is Le Jog, the 1500-mile epic from Land’s End to John O'Groats from 7-19 December.

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