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Early finish in Scottish rally for Ripon driver Robinson
3:24pm Friday 5th July 2013 in Sport
IT would seem that Ripon rally driver Matthew Robinson must have broken more than his fair share of mirrors this year as his awful run of results saw him retire from yet another event when he failed to finish last weekend’s RSAC Scottish Rally.
Along with Helperby co-driver Nigel Hutchinson as usual, the pair set second fastest time on the opening stage of the Historic section before mechanical problems once again intervened on their Ford Escort Mk 2 and they had to retire.
It was better news for Stanley’s Jack Morton who guided the Ford Fiesta R2 of Jon Armstrong to 14th overall and fifth in class in the British Championship section and likewise Ripon’s Gary Beckwith who along with sister Kirsty co-driving brought their Bly Sky Solutions-sponsored Ford Escort Mk2 home in 53rd overall and second in class in the National event.
LAST weekend, Darlington road racer Richie Harrison headed to Oulton Park for the latest round of the ThundersportGB Streetfighter B series which turned out to be a weekend of mixed fortunes for the HBR Team.
After the team worked hard at Snetterton and Cadwell, with some great points scoring rides that saw Richie move to third in the championship chase, the team hoped that Richie could replicate the same strong finishes once again to consolidate his position and with double points on offer it was all to play for.
In qualifying, Richie settled into a rhythm and at the end of the session held ninth overall and third in his class for the following day’s first race he was confident of a good result. However, the weather unexpectedly changed overnight meaning the team had to get the machine set up for the wet weather with wet tyres in but Richie went out on track for practice just as it was starting to dry and posted fastest time.
It meant tyre choice was going to be a lottery but for the opening race, Harrison decided to keep the wets on as it was still quite damp in places so opted for the safer option. As the lights went out, he made a very poor start and was left languishing down the order. Richie battled his way back through the pack but on a drying track, he was hampered by his tyres but amazingly, was still in the hunt and managed to bring the Yamaha home in third place in class to bag a brilliant podium.
With a new rear Pirelli tyre fitted for race two, Harrison was in confident mood and as the lights went out, he made a better start and settled into the pack for yet another scrap. Richie held fourth in class and had pulled out a gap over his rivals but as he went into the 120mph Druids Corner late in the race, he lost control for no apparent reason and crashed heavily.
It turned out a bike just in front of him had blown up and deposited oil on the track before the marshals could get any warning flags out.
The HBR Yamaha suffered extensive damage and whereas Richie escaped serious injury, his leathers, boots and gloves were wrecked in the crash so is now in a race against time and money to get ready for Rockingham in a couple of weeks time to enable him to defend his fourth place in the championship.
DESPITE being nearly five months away, Darlington and District Motor Club’s BTRDA 75th Anniversary Rallycross meeting on November 24 at Croft Circuit has captured the imagination with nearly 50 competitors having pledged to take part in the two-wheel drive only event in a wide variety of cars.
As well as most of the country’s top two-wheel-drive British Championship competitors, Ian Horn from Stokesley and Ingleby Barwick’s Martin Peters will be in action and so too will Barnard Castle’s Mark Watson, winner of the second round of the MSA British Championship, but who will line up on the grid after borrowing a two-wheeldrive car for the occasion.
Swapping his 500bhp Citroen Xsara Supercar for a Ford Fiesta RWD owned by Dave Ewin, despite winning numerous titles over the years, Watson has never driven a rear-wheel-drive car before, so it should be entertaining.
Also looking for a good result in his new car is Martyn Hawkes from Stockton when he aims to debut his new Peugeot 206 which is being rebuilt with a 350bhp engine to challenge the front cars, so he’ll be looking for a podium finish at his local event.
BTRDA Rallycross committee member, John Rook, who was originally from Yarm, is also entered, as is Ferryhill BMW Mini driver David Bell.
Further details are available at darlington-motor-club org.uk
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