Ripon Motor Sport Club ran their annual special stage rally on Sunday 30th January. This year's rally was a counter for both the Northern and North Eastern Car Club's Championships. A strong quality entry fought it out over 45 miles of tracks and forest roads on a wet, muddy and blustery day.
Ripon dairyman Charlie Payne co-driven by Craig Thorley ran out clear winners by over two minutes. Second was Northallerton's Chris Blake with former event organiser Alan Hill on the maps. They just squeezed home only 1 second ahead of Donovan Jenkin and Ian Bass from Lincoln. Charlie Payne was pushed hard for most of the day by Bryan Gill from Bedale co-driven by Ripon's Jonathan Bean. Sadly their attack ended with a blown turbocharger shortly before the finish.
Starting from the Safeway supermarket in Ripon crews tackled 12 stages across North Yorkshire. Payne was in the groove straight away on the first 7 mile test at Lightwater Valley. His Mitsubishi Lancer stopping the clocks a clear 18 seconds faster than Gill who was four seconds up on York's Chris Barker. Lightwater marked the end for last year's winners Matthew Yeadon and Richard Shores. Having struggled all week to get their car ready the clutch failed on their Nu-Era sponsored Sierra Cosworth and that was that.
Crews made their way across country to the first of ten stages in the forests beginning with Boltby. This time it was Gill's turn to be quickest and he clawed back four seconds on Payne. This set the pattern for the day and at the service halt after five stages it was Payne form Gill by 20seconds with Ripon's Glen Workman in third place a further minute back. Holding a strong fourth place was the first of the 2-litre class cars, Steve Magson and Steve Bielby from York in their Ford Escort.
Crews had to put up with thick mist and heavy rain on the middle stages. The bad weather made for very muddy and slippery conditions which caused problems for most crews. Chris and Martin Barker crashing out of fourth place on Wass when they hit a log pile. After Gill had retired from second place Payne was able to ease off a little but still managed to set fastest time on the last stage at Lightwater Valley.
Best Ripon Motor Sport Club Trophy went to Mally Norris and Martin Brearey in a Ford Escort. A stunning performance in an under powered car brought 9th place overall and first in the 1600 class for Topcliffe's Jonathan Kitchen and Nigel Bennet. Just to show that you don't need a fast modern car to enjoy your rallying the Team Prize went to three Ripon Club crews all driving cars well over 20 year's old. John Parker/Bob Harrison in a 1963 Saab and Eric Kent/John Tillett in a Chevette with Chris Wise/Tony Christon in a Ford Escort Mk 1. The finish was at the Fountains Abbey Visitor Centre where drinks and hot food were a welcome site for the weary crews. Results were declared very quickly and made final at 6 o'clock. Trophies were presented by Michael Foulkes and Paul Mortimer from event sponsors Ripon Land Rover and Ripon Farm Services.
[Special Stage Rally Results Archive] [index for this event]
Last Modified: 13 February 2000