BHRC Red Kite award winners announced

The special award winners in the opening round of the 2015 Mintex MSA British Historic Rally Championship, the Red Kite Stages (Sunday 1 February) have been announced following the rally that also featured the opening rounds of the Motorsport Auctions Welsh Challenge and the Holton Homes Clubmans Challenge.The Motorsport Auctions Welsh Challenge will be contested over the four gravel rallies and one asphalt event based in Wales and so the early lead has gone to rally winners Jason Pritchard and Phil Clarke (Ford Escort Mk2). Builth Wells-based Pritchard was on one of his home events, while Clarke is based just across the border near Ludlow. Pritchard only flew back into the UK on Saturday morning after spending a week working with the Viking Motorsport team on the Classic Rally South Africa, so their last stage victory was even sweeter.The event was also the first round of the Holton Homes Clubmans Challenge, which is for crews using a maximum of six tyres per rally. The top overall finishers from the strong Clubmans Challenge field were Ben Friend and Sean Kennedy, who had a great run in their Pinto-powered Ford Escort Mk2 to win class D3 and finish 16th overall. Just one second behind them was the Ford Escort Mk2 of Tim Freeman and Paul Williams while Richard Lane and Frank Richer were next up.The ‘Spirit of the Rally’ product award from Fuchs Lubricants went to Bob Gibbons who made a popular return to rallying in his Ford Cortina Mk2. Co-driven by his son Dale, this was Bob’s first rally since the tragic death of his wife Di last summer. He got back into the swing of rallying and gave the fans a show with his usual sideways style.Peter Smith and Patrick Walsh collected the award for the ‘Best Improvement on Seeding’, which is a set of axle brake pads from Mintex. They took their Opel Kadett up into tenth place overall after an excellent performance. Finally, Terry Brown won the ‘Hard Charger’ award of a 20-litre jerry can from Green Valley Industrial Supplies. Despite losing third gear on the opening stage, Brown and Den Golding battled on and narrowly missed overall victory with a mighty charge.

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