Fresh from his success on last weekend's Border Counties Rally, Vodka-Kick drinks company boss Steve Perez has won the Wold Construction North Humberside Forest Rally in his Ford Focus WRC. Co-driven on this occasion by York travel agent Craig Thorley, Perez completed the event 46 seconds ahead of Will Nicholls/Nick Broom (Subaru Impreza WRC) after 44 miles of special stages on the North York Moors.
Third overall went on a tie-break to the Group N 'production' specification Mitsubishi Lancer EVO9 of Scottish teenager David Bogie and Manx co-driver Rob Fagg. Finishing with exactly the same penalties, Peter Egerton/Paul Spooner (Hyundai Accent WRC) lost out on the final podium place by setting a slower time (by 3 seconds!) on the opening stage through Langdale.
Whitby resident Ryan Champion was leading his 'home' event before his Mitsubishi Lancer Evolution left the road in Cropton. Although relatively undamaged, it was fully nine minutes before the car was on the move again and any chance of a good result had disappeared.
Four-times North Humberside winners, Warren Philliskirk/Eurig Evans, took 5th place in their MG Metro 6R4 and the top six was rounded off by Tony Davies/ Patrick Walsh in their Subaru Impreza WRC. Davies finished runner-up in the 2006 National Asphalt Rally Championship and was contesting his first forest event for several years, making this result all the more impressive.
In the battle for top two-wheel drive honours, Henri Grehan's Ford Escort MkII finished in 20th position, from a start number of 62, with Nick Cook's Mark I version two places behind.
The list of retirements included last year's North Humberside winners, Steve Petch/Michael Wilkinson, whose Hyundai Accent WRC succumbed to head gasket failure and the Ford Escort WRC of Silverstone Tyres Gold Star Championship leaders prior to the start, Hugh Hunter/Andy Marchbank, which failed to complete the opening stage.
After a lay-off lasting several months, Malcolm Hague/Dave Read (Ford Escort RS) returned to lead the Tesco 99 Octane 1400 Championship contenders back into Whitby. They beat last year's category winners, Neil Weaver/Nick Thornton, by half a minute after the latter crew's Proton Satria was slowed when a battery lead came loose on the second stage of the day. Taunton driver Julian Wilkes had been leading the category in his Vauxhall Nova VXR160 at the halfway stage, but differential failure was to put an end to this promising performance shortly afterwards.
Full results of the Wold Construction North Humberside Forest Rally are available on www.btrdarally.com
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Last Modified: 8 April 2007