Welsh rally legend Gwyndaf Evans cruised to victory in this year’s Roger Albert Clark Rally after he and co-driverJohn Millington led from start to finish.
Their Mk2 Escort RS – one of 16 Escorts among the 27 finishers – crossed the line nearly eight minutes ahead of another example, driven by Tim Pearcey and Neil Shanks (below).
The second-placed pair were just 34 seconds ahead of third-placed David Stokes and Guy Weaver (below) on the four-day stage rally, which kicked off on 2 December at Duncombe House in Lancashire and ended in Carlisle.
The challenge of Paul Griffiths and Sam Collins’ Ford Escort ended when it slid off the road in treacherous conditions during the second running of the 14-mile stage in Ae on day three, suspension damage putting them out of the event and catapulting Pearcey and Shanks into second place.
Star attractions included the well-campaigned Lancia Stratos of Steve Perez and Paul Spooner, which finished in eighth, and Colin Hope and Nick Patrick’s Saab 96, one of three in action this year.
Also falling victim to the conditions – there were 16 retirements in all – were 2010 winners Stefaan Stouf and Joris Erard, the pair rolling their Escort in Dalby on the event’s second stage. Another Dalby retirement was Tim Mason and Graham Wild’s Porsche 911.
“It all happened when the gearbox started to fail and, coming out of the Woodyard, Tim couldn’t select third gear and then no gears at all, coming to a halt on a blind corner,” said Wild. The pair briefly resumed their run before the 911’s engine expired on what was the car’s last outing in their hands.
In the Open Rally, Martyn Hawkswell and Nick Welch held on to a slender lead over the Toyota Corolla of Andy Madge and Pat Cooper, who overcame an off caused by black ice on the night stage.
In category one, Bob Bean and Malcolm Smithson bounced back from a visit to a ditch in Ae to win in their Lotus Cortina and finish 20th overall.
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