AFTER going two years without a victory on their home event, local aces Kevin Procter from Scruton and Northallerton co-driver Dave Bellerby returned to winning ways when they emerged triumphant in Northallerton AC’s Swift Signs & Shirts Christmas Stages Rally at Croft Circuit last Sunday.

Runners-up last year, the Ford Fiesta WRC pairing overcome the tricky damp conditions early on to win all eight stages meaning their overall victory margin was 79 seconds and in doing so, claimed an impressive eighth win in total on the festive event.

Once the early challenge from former winners Guy Smith/Patrick Walsh (Ford Fiesta R5+) and Scotch Corner’s Tony Bardy and Mickleton co-driver Tony Walker (Ford Focus WRC) ended in both crews suffering mechanical problems after SS2, no one else really got a look in as Procter eased to victory.

He stopped the clocks two seconds faster than Guy Smith on SS1 before increasing the lead to 22 seconds as the milder conditions allowed the track to dry. The gap extended to 34 seconds over Peter Smith/Graham Wild (Ford Fiesta WRC) after SS3 and by the half time turnaround following SS4, Procter held sway by 44 seconds over Smith. Third up was Scotsmen Gordon Morrison/Calum MacPherson (Subaru) ahead of Ford Escorts of Darlington duo Paul and Russ Swift, Rob Snowden/Mark Fisher and Mark Jasper/Don Whyatt.

And that was pretty much the order for the remainder of the event. The lead gap increased to 50 seconds on SS5 before Smith valiantly equalled Procter on SS6, but it was to no avail as darkness fell, Procter upped the pace again to stamp his authority on proceedings.

Smith claimed second ahead of Morrison with Swift fourth, a late charging Peter Stephenson from Thirsk with Northallerton co-driver Ian Windress (Subaru) came home in fifth whilst Jasper took sixth. Class 1 was won by Richmond brothers Mark and Andrew Constantine (Vauxhall Corsa), Des Campbell/Craig Forsyth (Peugeot 206) took Class 2 and in Class 3, Durham’s Edward Todd and Andy Brown (GTM Coupe) took the win. Swift won Class 4 with Stephenson doing likewise in Class 5.


1 Kevin Procter/Dave Bellerby (Ford Fiesta WRC), 2 Peter Smith/Graham Wild (Ford Fiesta WRC) +79s, 3 Gordon Morrison/Calum MacPherson (Subaru Impreza), 4

Paul Swift/Russ Swift (Ford Escort), 5 Peter Stephenson/Ian Windress (Subaru WRC), 6 Mark Jasper/Don Whyatt (Ford Escort), 7 Geoff Wright/Chris Sanderson (Ford Fiesta), 8 Des Campbell/Craig Forsyth (Peugeot 206), 9 Edward Todd/Andy Brown (GTM Coupe), 10 Barry Lindsay/Caroline Lodge (Peugeot 106).