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BHRC: Harry Flatters another excellent event.

Right from the start of the Harry Flatters Historic Rally, Mark Solloway and Den Golding took control of the rally in their Ford Escort Mk2 and after nine stages on the classic Epynt ranges, they headed category three by almost a minute.

Round six of the 2008 Dunlop/Gambia MSA British Historic Rally was another excellent event as crews tackled the unique challenge of Epynt. Category wins for Steven Smith/Howard Pridmore and Patrick Watts/Elgan Davies were very important in championship terms, but it is Neil Calvert and Arlene Cookson who still head the points with two rallies to run.


Category 1

It was a busy weekend for Elgan Davies, as the Flatters clashed with a friend's wedding. He missed the recce while at the wedding, dashed up to Brecon for Saturday evening's leg and then rushed off to the evening party before returning to the rally on Sunday morning.

But that didn't affect the pace of the Sunbeam Tiger and, though narrowly headed overnight by the Dessie Nutt/Geraldine McBride Porsche 911, Watts/Davies soon moved ahead on Sunday morning.

By the time they arrived at the finish back in Brecon, the Tiger was a minute clear of the Porsche, even though Watts declared Epynt not suited to the Tiger. "Like trying to park a double-decker bus in Tescos," was his analogy.

"We've been trying very hard," said Nutt after a very attacking performance.

A remarkable third in category one (and B2 victory) fell to James Stait/Gill Cotton in the MG Midget after a titanic battle over the final two stages with the Lotus Cortina of Neil Calvert and Arlene 'Miss Accrington Stanley' Cookson. Eventually, the gap was just 2.3s in favour of the Midget. "We really had to go for it on the last two stages," said Stait after a mighty performance.

Calvert/Cookson duly won B4 to retain their overall championship lead, despite breaking a tramp bar on Saturday evening. Second in B4 with a very strong run came Paul Mankin/Desmond Bell in their Lotus Cortina.

In B1, Gary and Jane Edgington had a tremendous run to victory as Gary made his Epynt debut in the Singer Chamois. A different engine had been fitted since the Isle of Man. "This one only revs to about 7200," said Gary.


Category 2

It all nearly went wrong for Smith/Pridmore over the big jump at the flying finish of the opening stage and a very heavy landing gave car and crew a major whack. But far worse was to come when Ken Forster/John Stanger-Leathes caught the jump marginally wrong, landed on the grass and rolled their Escort Mk1 four or five times. Thankfully the crew were okay and had the benefit of a check from Dessie Nutt when he arrived on the scene two minutes later.



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Mark Solloway [Pic credit: Geoff Mayes Images - www.geoffmayesimages.com]
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