Ripon driver Robinson keeps up quest for hat-trick success

4:25pm Friday 23rd May 2014

DOUBLE BTRDA Silver Star champion Matthew Robinson continued his quest for a hat-trick by claiming a class victory on last weekend’s dry and dusty Plains Rally held in Wales which comprised round four of the 2014 BTRDA Rally Series.

The Ripon driver and codriver Sam Collis were in action in their Ford Escort Mk2 and as usual were a thorn in the sides of the four wheel drive crews, eventually coming home in 14th overall to increase their lead in the twowheel drive Silver Star class.

However, such has been Robinson’s speed and consistency that he holds second place in the overall Gold Star title race at the halfway point in the series.

Runner-up in the Gold Star series last year, Hamsterley’s Stephen Petch and Northallerton co-driver Ian Windress were hoping to continue their good form recently after a retirement on the opening Wyedean round back in February.

The Ford Focus WRC08 duo set top three times all day long, including being fastest on the final stage to emerge in third place and in doing so, elevated themselves up to third overall going into the Dukeries Rally next month.

Making it a great day for the region was Thirsk driver Mat Smith and co-driver Giles Dykes from Barnard Castle who were back in action in the 1400cc class in their rapid Ford Ka. After a retirement on the Malcolm Wilson Rally and missing the Somerset Stages, the pair needed a result in Wales and so it turned out as they took victory, elevating them up to eighth in the standings but with dropped scores coming into play, they stand a real chance of success.

Thirsk co-driver Charlotte Banner was also in action with driver Chris Eade and they finished 74th overall and fifth in class in their Peugeot 205.

NORTHALLERTON Enduro rider Robbie Wallace was competing in round four of the Perkins Slade Ride Off Road Enduro Championship last weekend riding his Motoconnection, Putoline Oils and RFX-sponsored Yamaha YZ125.

The two hour race was held at Lee Dell near Rochdale whereby the track was run on moorland and woodland with a lap of about four miles. The weather turned out the same as the previous meeting with it being dry on the day before when Wallace walked the track, but overnight rain changed the conditions to muddy on race day.

The championship leading riders, including Robbie, started on the seeded first row and Wallace made a great start being second off the line into the first corner. Without everyone else’s dirt and spray hampering vision, this paid off in the opening laps and by lap two Wallace and another rider had broken away from the main pack by a minute.

As the conditions worsened, the lap times dropped. Wallace’s pit crew missed him pass on lap four and thought he had had a problem but on the next lap, Wallace came through the lap scoring area, all that had happened was the pit crew had missed him due to the riders being covered in mud meaning he was unidentifiable.

Eventually, after two tiring hours Wallace came across the finish line although he was not sure of his position eventually it was confirmed he had finished in second place meaning he increased his championship lead to nine points. Robbie’s next outing is the fifth and sixth round of the British Sprint Enduro Championship elenext weekend, at Tetbury, Gloucestershire.

THERE was of success for local competitors when they made the trip to Knockhill, Scotland for the latest round of the British Rallycross Championship.

Leading the way with a sensational victory was Northallerton’s Drew Bellerby who brought her Sayers Tankersbacked Suzuki Swift home to win the Junior class and in doing so took the lead in the championship. Fellow Northallerton driver Charlie Bean was hoping to emulate his round one victory and after winning all three heats, later retired with brake problems.

In the Suzuki Swift class, Brompton driver Chris Mullen secured his second successive win in the FDP Group and Power Maxed-backed car to elevate himself to second in the standings and in the SuperNational class, Northallerton’s Guy Corner claimed a third place overall in his Peugeot 206 to move up to fifth in the title race.

There were mixed fortunes for the Teesside father and daughter Martin and Jennie Hawkes with Jennie claiming third in the Junior final to hold fourth in the standings but Martin rolled his Peugeot 206 meaning a non score and remains eighth in the Super- National class.

PICKHILL near Thirsk will have a major representation on next weekend’s Jim Clark Rally with crews out in action.

In the MSA Asphalt Rally National event, Geoff Simpson and co-driver Bruce Lindsay will be in their Mitsubishi Lancer Evo 6, as will father and daughter team Bill and Kari Bates in their Peugeot 106.

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