Round 6, Trackrod National Rally - 27 September
Steve Perez and Paul Spooner claimed the honours in the penultimate round of the Pirelli National Gravel Rally Championship as they won the Trackrod National Rally. In their Ford Focus WRC, top seeds Perez/Spooner finished 40.2 seconds ahead of the Subaru Impreza WRC of Roger Duckworth and Mark Broomfield on the Pickering-based event to claim his first maximum points in the series this season. Late entry Julian Reynolds and Patrick Walsh finished up third in their Subaru Impreza WRC after a trouble-free run.
Early leaders Marcus Dodd and Andrew Bargery, who took charge after stage two, suffered some bad luck and a small setback to their championship title hopes when they retired on the final stage, the Givendale test, after the engine blew on their Hyundai Accent WRC. They had earlier been struggling with a misfire despite leading the pack.
The result means the MSA Pirelli Gravel Rally Championship title remains in the balance heading into the final round, the Bulldog Rally, on Saturday 18 October, with the absent Jon Ingram, who withdrew from the event following his wife suffering a serious horse riding accident last weekend, leading Dodd by five points on dropped scores. However, if Ingram contests the final event, he must finish no lower than second, if indeed Dodd wins the event, meaning a grandstand finish is set for this season's title chase.Final Classification:1, Steve Perez/Paul Spooner (Ford Focus WRC) 52:55.12, Roger Duckworth/Mark Broomfield (Subaru Impreza WRC) 53:35.33, Julian Reynolds/Patrick Walsh (Subaru Impreza WRC) 54:33.14, Charlie Payne/Craig Thorley (Mitsubishi Lancer WRC) 54:44.85, Nik Elsmore/Craig Drew (Mitsubishi Evo 9) 55:01.56, Tony Thompson/Jon Dunning (Mitsubishi Evo 9) 55:15.57, Stephen Petch/Michael Wilkinson (Hyundai Accent WRC) 55:40.88, Alan Cookson/Julian Wilkinson (Subaru Impreza WRC) 56:31.49, Michael Curtis/David Curtis (Mitsubishi Evo 5) 58:25.610, Ian Tippett/Andy Rowe (Mitsubishi Evo 6) 59:55.0