Kumho-shod cars fill the first three places
Should the Woodpecker Stages Rally ever be renamed, the Andy Burton Rally would seem the obvious moniker to choose, as last Saturday (September 3) the Herefordshire farmer won the event for an historic 10th time.
This is proving quite a season for Burton, who had already clinched the 2011 BTRDA Rally Championship and, in doing so, become the first person in the 58-year history of the series to win the title four times. Such successes are particularly poignant for Burton and his Presteigne-based co-driver Robin Kellard, as their all-conquering Kumho-shod Peugeot-Cosworth is being forcibly retired at the end of the season due to a change in regulations.
The team didn’t have things all their own way on the popular 130-car Woodpecker event, though, and it was another Kumho equipe – Roger Chilman and Andrew Sankey in their Subaru Impreza WRC - who led the rally for the first three stages. Once some early overheating problems were resolved, however, Burton was able to ease the mighty Peugeot-Cosworth to the fore and eventually running out 40 seconds clear of the Chilman/Sankey pairing. Just 33 seconds behind them was yet another Kumho duo – former National Gravel Champion Roger Duckworth and his co-driver Shaun O’Gorman; also Impreza WRC-mounted.
Commenting on the results, Kumho’s European Motorsport Manager Steve Thompson said:”This is obviously a very pleasing result for us in what is proving to be something of a vintage year for Kumho on both stage and track. The ultimate beneficiaries are our road tyre customers, however, who get to buy products developed in the heat of competition.”
A second Kumho driver secures Silverstone Tyres BTRDA title
Burton secured his BTRDA Gold Star title back in July, when there were two rounds of the series left to run. Now, with one rally still remaining, Warren Philliskirk has clinched the BTRDA Historic Cup. Having fought a season-long battle with the Welsh pairing of Terry Brown and Tomos Whittle, Philliskirk and co-driver Matt Whattam emerged victorious from another titanic struggle on the Woodpecker Rally to claim the title with their Kumho-shod Ford Escort MKII.