Malcolm Wilson 2015

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The weather on Friday 6th March at Dovenby Hall, the residence of the event sponsor Malcolm Wilson, where scrutineering and documentation took place for the 40th running of the event, was very blustery. Saturday the 7th lived up to the weather forecast by being a very wet start with the rain receding as the day progressed. The field of just over 230 cars were “chasing the daylight”, as John Wayne would say, with the first car leaving the start at 7am.

Reverse seeding for the 1400/Historic classes meant the slowest cars were on the road first. After a five minute gap the main field, mostly the 4×4 cars, left in seeded order.

Highest placed finisher was Thirsk based Peter Stephenson who ended the day 11th overall with his WRC Spec Ford Focus. Peter had the experienced Chris Williams reading the notes and Peter is now 3rd overall in the championship.

Mat Smith from Thirsk and Giles Dykes from Barnard Castle would have another good day. After starting on wrong tyres and finding “the car’s all over the place” they would eventually finish a very creditable 15th overall and predictably win the 1400. Mat is now 2nd overall in the championship, whilst Giles leads the co-driver table.

Returning to the championship are past champions Richard and Edwin Cook from Wigton with their trusty Subaru Impreza. No real drama to report and a respectable 16th overall gives them a comfortable start to the championship.

Brian Hodgson from Penrith was sitting alongside the non-registered Stuart Egglestone is his Vauxhall Astra. After finding the opening stage slippery Brian would guide Stuart home 20th overall, 2nd in the event’s B11 class.

Current champions Barry and Michael Lindsay from Spadeadam didn’t have things all their own way. Although they were enjoying their day Michael was still suffering from an eye injury the previous day. A tie-break situation between them and the McKnight’s would eventually be resolved in the McKnight’s winning the 1600 class. Barry still maintains his championship lead in the drivers category, whilst Michael is now 2nd overall in the co-drivers category.

Cumbria’s Marcus Noble and Helen Hall return again in 2015. I’m sure they intend to improve upon their 3rd overall place in the 2014 championship. Their 2015 campaign has begun with a fine drive and they would eventually arrive back at the finish 5th in the Historic class.

Another regular ANECCC crew are Darren Martin and Martin Steele from Carlisle. They are returning with a Mitsubishi Lancer Evo 9 in the B13 class and their usual cheerful, laid-back, and steady-away style. They were back home 8th in the events’ B13 class. Hopefully they’ll have some better luck this year…

Another regular ANECCC crew from Carlisle are David and Anne-Marie Crozier. A fine start to the year sees them home 37th overall, 10th in class, from a start seeding of 38. Another crew who need some better luck for the year.

Starting from a lowly seeding Daniel Thompson from Staindrop had his brother Matthew collecting times and would zoom up the placings to eventually have “a really, really good day”. 2nd in the 1400C class on the event now lifts Dan into 5th place overall in the championship.

A co-driver with nomadic tendencies is Richard Wardle from Pickering. Richard was sitting with Bob Adamson and after a puncture on stage 1 they would settle down and finish 8th in the Historic class on the event. Richard is now 3rd in the co-drivers table.

Steve Bannister and Louise Rae had a very difficult day with Steve dealing with various moments ranging from being fully sideways when not expected to be, and Louise dealing with unexpected timing issues. Not one of their better days and they would eventually finish well down the order. Credit to Steve and Louise for sticking it out when others would have thrown in the towel…

Unfortunately we’d lose Penrith’s James Hall and Caroline Lodge from Brampton on SS8 due to engine problems with their Fiesta.

New recruit Timo Hennish had a disastrous day with his Vauxhall Chevette when he lost 2nd, 3rd, and 4th gears early in the event. Timo reporting that he was also having to hold the gear in 3rd gear to maintain any forward motion at all…

Hexham based crew David Thirwell and Graham Reader were also reported to have stopped on SS6 with problems on their historic spec Escort Mk1.

SS6 would also be the demise of Colin Payne from Bishop Auckland and Andy Brown from Houghton-le-Spring with their Subaru Impreza.

Additionally we’d see Morpeth’s Josh Davison join the ranks of unemployed co-drivers from the event. Josh was reading the notes for Peter Taylor in his B14 spec Ford Focus.

After three rounds the current points standings for 2015 are:-

Drivers

  1. Barry Lindsay 262 pts
  2. Mat Smith 182 pts
  3. Peter Stephenson 158 pts
  4. Steve Bannister 141 pts
  5. Dan Thompson 132 pts

Co Drivers

  1. Giles Dykes 182 pts
  2. Michael Lindsay 92 pts
  3. Richard Wardle 92 pts
  4. Louise Rae 119 pts
  5. Thomas Bruce 92 pts

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/

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