After the disappointment of last month’s cancellation owing to severe weather conditions, the Riponian Stages Rally ran last Sunday in brilliant sunshine, a far cry from the snowy conditions that resulted in road closures four weeks before.
Charlie Payne and Craig Thorley claimed the victory honours, heading the standings in their Mitsubishi Lancer WRC Step 2 from the start to finish. They were pursued throughout by the Lancer Evo9 of Tim Pearcey and Robin Hernaman who eventually finished 11 seconds behind but eight seconds ahead of Kevin Proctor and David Bellerby’s Subaru Impreza WRC.
The rally was split into two loops of six stages starting with Boltby, Roppa and Riccal Dale which were then followed by Pry Rigg, College Moor and Wass before the service halt at Duncombe Park. The afternoon’s schedule comprised of a repeat run of the earlier stages.
Having completed the opening leg with a 14 second lead Payne extended his advantage by a further four seconds through the rally’s second visit to Boltby. The leading two cars then set matching times in Roppa before Pearcy wiped 10 seconds from his arrears in Riccal Dale. Any hopes the Evo9 pilot of had of catching Payne were then scuppered when his car developed a transfer box issue. That left Pearcy to concentrate on staving off the challenge from Procter who set fastest time through each of the final three stages.
1. Charlie Payne/Craig Thorley (Mitsubishi Lancer WRC) 38m08s;
2. Tim Pearcey/Robin Hernaman (Mitsubishi Lancer Evo9) 38m19s;
3. Kevin Proctor/David Bellerby (Subaru Impreza WRC) 38m27s;
4. Miles Johnston/Ian Bevan (Mitsubishi Lancer Evo7) 39m46s.
5. Philip White/Richard Hague (Mitsubishi Lancer Evo7) 40m24s;
6. Chris Bown/Roger Bown (Mitsubishi Lancer Evo6) 41m05s;
7. Charlie Gabb/Mick Quinn (Mitsubishi Lancer Evo6) 41m07s;
8. Jeff McNeil/Fred Roberts (Subaru Impreza) 41m11s;
9. Jim McNeil/Kim Baker (Subaru Impreza) 41m20s.
10. Jonathan Kitchen/Jeremy Thomas (Ford Escort Mk2) 41m27s.
Class Award Winners:
A: Alan Richardson/Christopher Roe (Vauxhall Nova);
B: Colin Gent/Martyn Stephenson (Honda Civic);
D: Mick Plowman/Nigel Boston (Ford Escort Mk2);
H: Darren Moon/John McNichol (Ford Escort Mk2).