Riponian Rally 2015
Sunday morning, 22nd February began with bright sunshine following a frosty overnight. Most crews reported that the opening stage, Wass forest at the top of Sutton Bank, was very icy. This brightness was not to last and as the day progressed the weather deteriorated and the forecasted showers appeared as sleet and snow. The last two stages being particularly affected, sufficiently enough to keep the surviving crews from becoming complacent as they neared the finish of the event.
First away from the start at Thirsk Auction Mart was local hero from Thirsk, the event sponsor, and SG Petch ANECCC regular Peter Stephenson with Ian Windress co-driving. However Peter’s day would be plagued with electrical issues and after showing a promising start to the event Peter and Ian would retire after SS11, Waterloo, when the gear position sensor would eventually fail.
Seeded at 14 was another Thirsk man, Mat Smith, with Eggleston based Giles Dykes in the ultra quick Proton Satria. Mat may be new to the SGP ANECCC championship, having registered just before the start of the event, but he’ll certainly be someone to watch out for as the season progresses. Having spun on SS3, Pry Rigg, and giving away about 15seconds they would finish a fine 6th overall, 1st in the 1400cc class.
Another newcomer to the SGP ANECCC championship is Andy Graham all the way from Stoke-on-Trent. Andy, with fellow Staffordshire man Will Henry co-driving, was finding the stages a little rougher than they’d expected, however, they persisted and would finish 30th overall with their Subaru Impreza, 5th in the 4×4 class.
Reigning SGP ANECCC champion Barry Lindsay from Spadeadam had the delightful Caroline Lodge from Brampton reading the notes. Although a leery moment with the Peugeot 206 past a brick building did give Caroline the opportunity to include extra note instructions which hadn’t been foreseen during their viewing of the DVD. They’d finish an excellent 11th overall, 1st in the 1600cc class, and still maintains the overall lead in the championship.
SGP ANECCC contenders of the past, Michael Davison from Morpeth and Chris Dodds from Consett, return with their 1600cc powered Proton Satria. After having boiled the brake fluid on SS5 and other issues with the differential on SS6 they would call it a day and head for home after SS8,Wass2.
New to the SGP ANECCC championship for 2015 is another man from Thirsk, Ben Cree. Ben felt that although the car wasn’t giving any problems there was room for improvement with the driver… A steady consistent run would see Ben eventually finish 14th overall, 2nd in class.
Another driver returning to the championship for 2015 is Chris Marlow. Chris, one of our more senior drivers, had a bit of a scare on SS3, Pry Rigg, when the brakes failed on his Peugeot 205. The fault was remedied, however, Chris wasn’t completely comfortably with the repair so he decided to head for home.
Daniel Thompson from Ingleston near Darlington, is another driver who’s reregistered for 2015. Dan won the class 1 award in 2014 and after a nervous start with his brother Matt reading the notes he settled down and although the exhaust became a little noisy they would end their day 18th overall, 2nd in class.
Other new recruits for 2015 are the crew of Neil Prior from Shiremoor and Whitley Bay based John Stanger-Leases. However, car trouble meant they’d miss out SS3 so therefore they won’t count as finishers, which is unfortunate considering they had a promising start.
Another new crew for 2015 are Andrew Robinson, from York, and Kevin Wilson, from Harrogate, in their historic specification Mk2 Escort. Unfortunately rear half-shaft issues would see them back into service early to try and affect a repair. Their prayers weren’t answered and retirement was a sad consolation for a promising start.
The co-driving expertise of seasoned campaigner Richard Wardle is becoming of great support to David Goose from Spalding. David also has a historic specification Mk2 Escort and with Richard’s guiding eye they finished a very well driven 19th overall and 5th in class. David is now 2nd overall driver in the championship and Richard leads the co-drivers table.
After two rounds the current points standings for 2015 are:-
- Barry Lindsay 174 pts
- David Goose 124 pts
- Mark Thompson 92 pts
- Peter Stephenson 92 pts
- Steve Bannister 87 pts
- Richard Wardle 124 pts
- Thomas Bruce 92 pts
- Ian Windress 92 pts
- Caroline Lodge 91 pts
- Michael Lindsay 87 pts
Round 3, The Malcolm Wilson Rally is on the 7th March. The entery list is now closed, however, if you speak directly to the organisers they may have a place available. website http://www.malcolmwilson.co.uk/
Round 4, The Border Counties Rally is on the 21st March. Full details and regulations are available on the rally website http://www.bordercountiesrally.co.uk/
Round 5, The Pirelli Carlisle Rally is on the 25th April. Full details and regulations are available on the rally website http://www.pirellicarlislerbfoundationrally.co.uk/