FOR the second time in as many weekends, County Durham rally driver David Henderson emerged victorious when he took the win on the East Riding Stages Rally on Sunday.

The part-time circuit racer from Crook, along with Scottish co-driver Chris Lees, followed up their Snetterton Stages Rally victory the previous weekend in their Ford Fiesta R5 by taking the winners’ garlands on the inaugural running of the closed roads rally around Beverley.

With recent legislation passed meaning rally organisers can apply for sections of public roads in England to be closed for motorsport as well as other leisure pursuits such as cycling and athletics events, the rally was the first of its kind in the region and proved popular with a number of local competitors who contested it.

Adding to the local success by following Henderson home in a similar car was Lancastrian Mark Kelly, co-driven by Saltburn’s Neil Colman who were some 18 seconds adrift at the Bishop Burton College finish.

The Leeming pair of Joe Cunningham and Josh Beer brought their Procter’s Coaches-backed Ford Fiesta home to a top ten placing after the 45-stage mile event with Bolton-on-Swale’s Cat Lund guiding Yorkshireman Andy Rowe to 24th overall in their Mitsubishi.

Consett driver Barry Renwick and co-driver Steve Dargan claimed 27th overall and fifth in class in their Ford Escort but there was a real scrap for honours in the 1400cc class which eventually saw Richmondshire brothers Mark and Andrew Constantine (Vauxhall Corsa) pip York youngster Ash Slights and co-driver Dave Robson (Ford Escort) by a single second to end up 33rd and 34th overall respectively.

Bedale falconer Tommy Graham and co-driver Mark Pickering brought their Ford Fiesta Proto home in 41st overall, one place ahead of comeback driver Tim Johnson from Welbury who took second in class in the Autotest of Northallerton-prepared 1600cc Honda Civic he was sharing with Raskelf’s Nigel Hutchinson. It was an impressive result for Johnson who was doing his first event in a decade and driving a front-wheel drive car for the first time in over 20 years.

Tim’s brother Pat along with Mickleton co-driver Tony Walker emerged in 48th overall and sixth in class in their Opel Kadett, five places ahead of another comeback driver Bob ‘The Log’ Dennis from Toronto near Bishop Auckland in his recently-built Subaru Legacy which was co-driven by Ron Roughead.

Teesdale’s Andrew and Joe Hutchinson claimed 56th overall and eighth in class in their Renault Clio, just ahead of Boroughbridge driver Graham Haigh and Sinderby co-driver Kari Bates in their Ford Escort Mk2.

Bruce Lindsay from Pickhill, along with co-driver Dafydd Owens took 72nd overall and seventh in class in their Chonka Garage Services-backed 1400cc Ford Fiesta but for fancied Mickleton runner Alistair Hutchinson, he retired the LPG-powered Renault Clio he was sharing with Jordan English three stages from home.