4:04pm Friday 9th May 2014
TEESSIDE businessman Peter Stephenson and co-driver Ian Windress were in action over both days of the Pirelli Carlisle RB Foundation Rally last weekend when they came away with a double podium on the various events that supported the British Rally Championship.
Driving the Able UK-backed Ford Focus WRC, the pair followed up a second place in Saturday's National Rally with third place in Sunday's event to add to their successes this season. In the Historic class, Thirsk driver Tom Hewick and co-driver Mick Johnson from Pickhill brought their Ford Escort Mk2 home in fourth position in class with Morton on Swale's Charlie Taylor and Pickering co-driver Steve Bielby claiming seventh in their similar car.
Thirsk co-driver Charlotte Banner was in action in the British Championship with Chris Wheeler but a problem on SS1 in their Ford Fiesta MS1 set the scene for the day and they retired later in the event after going off the road. There was frustration also for Ripon's Matthew Robinson who along with Helperby co-driver Nigel Hutchinson were excluded from Saturday's Historic event on a technicality but bounced back to claim fourth overall and a class win on Sunday's National event.
NORTHALLERTON Enduro rider Robbie Wallace was competing in the third and fourth rounds of the British Sprint Enduro Championship last weekend at Llanbister in Wales riding his Motoconnection and Putoline Oils sponsored Yamaha YZ125 where 15 year old team mate Nieve Holmes from Leyburn was also competing was riding her Motoconnection Honda 250 in the Ladies class.
Round one was held on Saturday in challenging conditions with intermittent rain and Wallace was riding in the Enduro21.com under 19 youth class which consisted of seven separate laps of the 4.5 mile track. With his confidence high after the first two rounds, Wallace set out to make a fast start but the woodland section turned out to be very boggy with some really greasy twisty uphill sections causing difficulties for riders. The extreme section also proved difficult when wet, which went over some large rocks and felled trees but after the first four timed laps Wallace was in fourth place. Nieve also rode well in the morning in although a slow time on the third lap knocked her back from the leading trio.
In the afternoon the rain stayed away and the track dried up slightly making conditions easier. Wallace, being consistent with the improving conditions, ended the day in fourth place but Nieve hit an obstacle a bit too hard on the fifth lap causing her to hit the front of her helmet on the handlebars which resulted in a nose bleed and stiff neck. However, she battled on finishing the day with an excellent fourth place.
Round four on Sunday saw even wetter conditions after heavy overnight rain with the track being run in reverse. On the sighting lap a lot of riders could not make it up a hillclimb due to the conditions although Robbie and Nieve managed fine but the hill was then bypassed for the rest of the day.
Wallace's target was to improve a place at least from the day before but got off to a bad start on the first lap when a large branch went through his front wheel causing him to slide off the track. Losing time untangling the branch from his broken spokes he then carried on. After a change of wheel at the end of the lap things got even worse with a rear puncture on the next lap causing him to take a stage maximum plus two minutes.
Nieve also was not faring well as, suffering the effects of the previous day's incident, reluctantly decided to withdraw from the event. The rest of the day saw Wallace make a comeback with a string of third fastest times bringing him to another fourth place. This makes him third place in the championship with Nieve in fourth in the Ladies championship going into the next round at Rochdale this weekend.
DARLINGTON and District Motor Club host the second of the race meetings this year at Croft Circuit tomorrow.
As well as rounds for the popular Northern Sports and Saloon Car Championship which will see pack grids and a wide variety of cars, there will be rounds of the MG Car Club Cockshoot Cup, Toyo Tires Porsche Championship and the Baylis and Harding Porsche Club Championship.
The action gets under way with practice from 9.30 and the first of ten races from 11.15. Adult admission is £13 with accompanied children aged 15 and under free as is car parking. Advance tickets for the Dunlop British Touring Car Championship next month are still available at www.crosftcircuit.co.uk.
THE Guisborough-based Milwaukee Yamaha team celebrated their first victory of the 2014 MCE Insurance British Superbike Championship season at Oulton Park last weekend as Josh Brookes claimed his first win for the team to follow up his second place in the opening race.
In the opening race of the day Brookes got off to a flying start to shadow championship leader Shane Byrne and despite his best efforts was forced to settle for second. The Australian's blistering pace during the race broke the existing lap record set in 2006 and put Brookes on pole position for the second race. Race two was a different story as Brookes led the race from the start to claim his first win for Milwaukee Yamaha as he moved second in the overall standings.
Team owner Shaun Muir said: "I am delighted and Josh's win as this was his just rewards for the hard work he has put in since joining the Milwaukee Yamaha team. This has traditionally been a good track for us and although the first race didn't quite go to plan he definitely made up for it in race two with that performance."
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