Burton claims WWRS R.A.C. Rally Championship round five

Phil Burton and Mal Capstick won again in the fifth round of the West Wales Rally Spares R.A.C. Rally Championship, Saturday’s DMACK Carlisle Stages (13 June). They were also third overall two-wheel drive car on the rally.Burton’s crew had to resolve some rear suspension issues at second service after the rough section in Chamot Hill. He then attacked in the final 14-miler in Kershope before catching the dust of another car but still arrived back at the finish as the leading R.A.C. finisher once more in his Open Category Ford Escort Mk2. “We caught Brian Bell’s Focus WRC in the last stage and did eight miles in his dust,” said Burton. Barry Stevenson-Wheeler and John Pickavance (Escort Mk2) finished second in the Open Category. “We had gear selection problems in stages two and three. The last stage was tricky and we caught the dust of another car for the second half of it,” said Stevenson-Wheeler.Brothers Leigh and Chris Armstrong made the long trek north from Sussex and were leading historic finishers in their Ford Escort Mk2 after a strong performance. “That last stage was fantastic, but it was very tricky on the final couple of miles alongside the river,” said Leigh.Tim Mason and Graham Wild were back in action in their Porsche 911, which had been refettled after an off on the Pirelli when the throttle stuck open. They had a good run despite a late scare when the steering rack started to fail and matched Armstrong’s pace on the final stage to hold the winning margin at just five seconds. Mason was just relieved to make it home with the steering pretty vague over the final few miles.James Potter and Bob Duck (Ford Escort Mk2) started the final Kershope stage only 16s down on Armstrong and decided to mount a big attack. Unfortunately, Potter’s engine dropped down on power and revs for about three miles in the middle of the stage before clearing again. He still took six seconds from Armstrong but it was not enough to change the final order.Next historic crew in the final results was the irrepressible Jeremy Easson and co-driver Mike Reynolds who also won the event’s class H2 in Mike’s Datsun 240Z. “That last stage was fantastic,” said Easson of the concluding 14-miler in Kershope. Grahame Standen/Jane Edgington (Escort Mk2) headed the 1600cc historic crews from Stuart and Linda Cariss in their Escort Mk1. “That last stage was mega,” said Standen of the long Kershope test, while Cariss pushed on well to keep in touch with Standen.A Very early retirement was posted by Matthew Honeyborne and James Curtis with a blown engine in their Ford Escort Mk1. The engine went very sick in the first mile of the opening stage. Also out of luck were Aziz Tejpar and Alistair Cook with what proved to be a coil problem in their Escort Mk1. They stopped in the first stage and lost a lot of time but later got to the finish. That was also the prime aim of Tony Ginns and Ben Giles, back in Ginns’ Ford Escort Mk1 fourteen months after making a mess of it on the Tour of Hamsterley. Ginns wanted a steady run for a finish and achieved just that.The DMACK Carlisle Stages was organised by the Roger Albert Clark Rally Motor Club. Category winners were:Category 1: no startersCategory 2: Tim Mason/Graham Wild (Porsche 911)Category 3: Leigh Armstrong/Chris Armstrong (Ford Escort Mk2)Category O: Phil Burton/Mal Capstick (Ford Escort Mk2)The DMACK Carlisle Stages was organised by the Roger Albert Clark Rally Motor Club. A more detailed event report will be circulated during Monday (15 June).