The GEG Promenade Stages, a counter to the ANWCC, ANCC & SD34 Stage Rally Championships was won by John Stone and Matthew Whatttam in a Skoda Fabia WRC.
Stone, co-driven for the first time by Whattam, took a convincing victory on the Wallasey Motor Club event by setting no fewer than eight, from a possible ten, fastest stage times.
The rally, which is run over closed roads on New Brighton Promenade, attracts competitors from the length and breadth of the British Isles and is regarded as one of the best events of its kind. Stone previously took top honours in 2005 when, together with long-term co-driver Lee Carter, he brought his MG Metro 6R4 to victory. Since that time Chris Davies and Brandon Parker had recorded four successive wins and the Darrian T90 crew were looking to add a fifth victory to their tally until Stone scuppered their plans!
At the finish Stone said “Everything’s gone right today. I was a bit tentative on the first stage giving second best to Chris (Davies) but thereafter it was maximum attack. I could afford to back off a bit towards the finish but having said that you can’t back off too much with the Skoda!”
Peter and Tim Stojanov made a cautious start in Peter Lloyd’s Subaru Impreza WRC S14 with the driver stating “It’s taking a bit of getting used to” having never driven it before the first stage. Gaining both confidence and speed as the day progressed the brothers finished the rally as runners-up as the Metro 6R4 of Chris Wise and Tracey Taylor-West completed the podium.
1 John Stone/Matthew Whattam (Skoda Fabia WRC) 44m54s;
2 Peter Stojanov/Tim Stojanov (Subaru Impreza WRC) 45m31s;
3 Chris Wise/Tracey Taylor-West (MG Metro 6R4) 45m45s;
4 Mark Roberts/Sarah Hughes (Ford Escort Cosworth) 46m41s;
5 John Harland/Rob Soper (Darrian T90 GTR) 47m55s;
6 Stuart Deeley/Alistair Dodd (Lotus Banks Europa) 48m07s;
7 Keith Taylor/Dave Robson (Subaru Impreza) 48m30s;
8 Geoff Roberts/Mark Perryman (Ford Escort Mk2) 49m02s;
9 Steve Hopewell/Mark Blagden (Ford Escort Mk2) 49m17s;
10 Mark Jones/Chris Brierley (BMW M3) 49m36s.
Class Award Winners
1: Marcus Tinsley/Dave Batley (Peugeot 205);
2: Dave Burns/Steve Hallmark (Vauxhall Corsa);