Defending champions Marcus Dodd and Andrew Bargery claimed maximum points in round five of the 2009 Pirelli MSA Gravel Rally Championship with an extremely narrow victory in the Severn Valley National Rally.
In their Hyundai Accent WRC car, the pair left it late to secure the win on the Builth Wells-based event as they finished just 0.6 of a second ahead of the Subaru Impreza of Roger Duckworth and Mark Broomfield, who are not contesting the ANCRO series this year, after edging ahead on the seventh and final stage.
Duckworth and Broomfield had led from the outset with Dodd/Bargery getting off to a steady start on stage one before moving into second place on stage two. They struggled with a gearbox problem and lost time in stage four but resolved it in service to eventually go on to claim their third victory of the campaign.
"I've worked very hard for the win,” Dodd said. “I've been pushed by Roger and Mark all day and it's great to get another victory.”
The Irish crew of Daniel Barry and Martin Brady posted a consistent performance to come home third overall, taking the honours in the Production Cup and second place in the championship in their Mitsubishi Evo 9. The result sees them maintain their lead of the series.
They beat the identical machine of Simon Hughes and Craig Parry by 30 seconds as they took third, 0.7 of a second ahead of the Evo 9 of Nik Elsmore and Craig Drew, who were fifth overall after a very close battle between the Group N crews throughout the event.
The unregistered pairing of Damian Cole and Patrick Walsh in their Hyundai Accent WRC were sixth followed by Irishman Owen Murphy and Welsh co-driver Dai Roberts in their Evo 9, claiming 18 points in the Gravel Rally Championship and making it to the finish despite an off in stage three, which caused some damage to the rear of the car.
The Icelandic pair of Daniel Sigurdarson and Isak Gudjonson were eighth overall in their Mitsubishi Evo 10 followed by the Subaru Impreza of Grant Rees and Wyn Davies.
Rounding up the top ten was Wug Utting and his co-driver son Max Utting in their Impreza whilst Neil Gatt and Nick Cadwallader were 12th in their Impreza with Trev Baynham and Anthony Bailey 14th in their Ford Escort - taking maximum points in the Mintex Two Wheel Drive Challenge.
The only crew which failed to finish was Trevor Martin and Ray Cleghorn as they bowed out after stage three with an electrical problem on their Impreza.
Paul Bird and Steve Perez missed the event to take part in Rally Barbados.