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Gale maintains BHRC title bid for XS Racing

Jonathan Gale scooped maximum points for XS Racing in round three of the Dunlop/Gambia MSA British Historic Rally Championship, the Severn Valley Historic Rally in Wales on Saturday.

Jonathan and his father Graham were back in action in their Sunbeam Tiger over classic gravel stages including Crychan, Halfway and Radnor, and claimed maximum points despite a dramatic day in the category one car.

"We spun on the first stage and then twice more on the second stage and ruined the tyres," explained Jonathan of their start to the rally. "We nursed it through stage three then changed the tyres for SS4 and got the lead back."

However, more problems came in the daunting 16-mile stage in Radnor, which delivered a real sting-in-the-tail to the rally.

"We went off after taking a crest flat out into a hairpin," said Gale. "But I didn't realise Graham Waite wasn't registered for the championship," he added after discovering that second in the final category one standings still meant maximum championship points.

The Severn Valley marked the best event yet for the XS Racing Porsche 911 of Peter Smith/Russ Langthorne. After a couple of troubled rallies, they had a good run to eighth in category two and second in class C4.

As well as the Sunbeam Tiger and the Porsche, XS Racing fielded three Ford Escort Mk1s in class C3 and it was the car of Philip Wylie/James Whitaker that led them home in a fine third place, the best result yet for Philip.

"A brilliant day," he reported. "We had all four wheels off the road on SS2 and tried to start the last stage in reverse. But I'm really pleased with the result."

However, over the opening two stages it was the Escort of Drew Wylie/Howard Pridmore that was battling for the C3 lead with Tim Jones. But it then went wrong for Wylie in Halfway when they went off and the car ended up beached on a boulder.

"We lost four minutes as there were no spectators to help us back on," he explained. "There were no heroics through Radnor after the previous incident and maybe this will be the score to drop."



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