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BHRC: Smith/Nichols win C2 in Belgium.

After a tremendous battle with the Escort Mk1 of Frank Cunningham and Ryland James, category two victory in Belgium finally went to the Porsche 911RS of Steven Smith and John Nichols.

The Tour of Flanders was another great event to form round seven of the 2008 Dunlop/Gambia MSA British Historic, with some challenging stages and tricky conditions when rain arrived for the final leg on Saturday.

In category one, Patrick Watts and Elgan Davies swept to a resounding victory in the Sunbeam Tiger, while in category three it was Belgian newcomer Darren Moon who scored a great win with John Stanger-Leathes on the notes in his Escort Mk2.


Category 1

It was something of a disappointment for Watts when he arrived in Belgium to find that he was the only runner in class B5, so full championship points were not available. But he got on with trying to push the rumbling Tiger as high up the overall order as he could and duly finished well inside the top 10 BHRC crews.

The Tiger ran beautifully, despite the usual concerns over brakes and Watts chucked it around in style. "It's been a good fun event," said Watts after another fine performance.

Remarkably, second in the category went to the MG Midget of James Stait and Gill Cotton after a very trouble free rally. "No problems," said James. "It's slightly nicer in the dry," he added, after taking a dominant B2 victory.

Trouble free could not describe the rally of Neil Calvert and Arlene Cookson, however, who battled through Saturday just to keep their Lotus Cortina in the rally. A catalogue of problems nearly put them OTL and concern over a failing head gasket meant they had to ease the revs back all through Sunday. Even a trip through a hedge failed to stop them, however, and B4 victory was just reward for a tough weekend.

In B1, the Singer Chamois of Gary and Jane Edgington starred on their debut in Flanders. Relishing the fact that Flanders is flat, Gary pedalled the Imp in style and took third in the category as well as B1 spoils over Mike Barratt/Jody Watson (Sunbeam Stiletto).


Category 2

The star of Saturday in category two was Cunningham, who grabbed the lead with a storming performance on his favourite event. "I felt fabulous all day, as long as it was dry. The car was doing exactly what it was supposed to do," said Frank. But the rain that fell for the last loop of stages was his downfall as Smith/Nichols used the conditions to grab the lead.



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