Severn Valley National Historic Stages 2011

The fourth round of the popular MSA British Historic Rally Championship took place last weekend. Based in the town of Builth Wells, the event provided a taster of stages which will be used later this year during the WRC on Wales Rally GB. The crews tackled the famous stages of Crychan, Halfway and Monument set amidst the picturesque mountains and valleys of the Epynt Military Ranges.

Will Onions and Dave Williams won the overall event in their mint Ford Escort RS1800. They finished up an incredible 0.03 seconds ahead, making it the closest finish in the history of the championship.

In second place was Julian Reynolds and Ian Oakey, who suffered a puncture in the very first stage costing them over 30 seconds. Reynolds then set fastest time on each of the next four stages, but it wasn’t enough to overhaul Onions and he had to settle for second place.

Steve Magson had a disappointing day in his beautiful Opel Ascona 400. Forced to take a stage maximum early on, Magson battled back to set a string of competitive stage times through the day.

Richard Lane and Frank Richer finished a respectable 9th overall in their Escort RS1800.

Rob Smith powered his immaculate Vauxhall Chevette to fourth overall, two spins and a stall costing him third place.

Simon Webster defied his relatively low seeding to finish an impressive 5th place.

With the stages baked dry following a prolonged spell of dry weather, tyre wear proved a major factor in deciding the outcome of the Rally. Fears of dust hanging in the air were abated with a strong breeze helping to improve visibility for the crews.

Chris Browne and Liz Jordan celebrated a class win in their Ford Escort RS1600, finishing over a minute ahead of their nearest challengers after a series of retirements amongst the leading crews.

The popular Datsun 240Z of Robert Close and Mike Reynolds finished a respectable 10th in Class.

British Army soldiers on exercise whilst the Rally was going on around them! I think one of them were sniping the rally cars on duty. But no shots were fired though, don’t worry.

Editorial : Rhodri

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