After four first-class forest stages in Yorkshire, Nick Elliott and Dave Price scored an impressive debut victory as they contested the Dunlop/Gambia MSA British Historic Rally Championship for the first time.
The Cheltenham crew went quickest on the opener in Housedale and extended their lead to score a classy victory in category three.
In category one, Patrick Watts/Elgan Davies bagged another win despite a spirited challenge from Bob Bean/Malcolm Smithson, while Steven Smith/John Nichols won category two in the face of a real challenge from Tim Mason/Graham Wild.
Smith and Watts will now await the deliberations of the championship stewards to know the destiny of the BHRC title, which remains undecided pending the outcome of eligibility issues with the C4 Porsches on the Tour of Flanders.
Watts/Davies went into the rally knowing that another category one victory would keep their title hopes running, and duly took victory despite running on a range of used tyres.
"It was tricky in Langdale," said Watts of the 15-mile stage that wrapped up the short, sharp event. "We had some big tank-slappers, so eased off a bit," he added.
But victory was secure, although the margin to the flying Lotus Cortina of Bean/Smithson was only 20s. With one of the drives of the rally, Bean bagged class B4 and stunned his rivals with his speed over his native Yorkshire forests. "Well pleased," said Bob of his day's work.
Pushed back into third in the category were Dessie Nutt and Geraldine McBride (Porsche 911), after a couple of spins and several overshoots in an unusually untidy run. They were just 5s up on the Lotus Cortina in Neil Calvert/Arlene Cookson, who were quick to acknowledge Bean's pace. "Bob's been on a mission and we couldn't keep with him, although we have tried," said Calvert.
The fight for B2 fell to James Stait/Gill Cotton, who completed a 100 per cent finishing record in the MG Midget. However, Terry Cree/Richard Shores (Mini Cooper S) were only 12s behind despite picking up two punctures on the opening stage. It looked like their rally might be over, but the generous help of Mike Barratt loaned them the spare wheel from his Imp, albeit of a different size, but it got them running again.