Making it four different winners in the opening four rounds, Herefordshire driver Andy Burton claimed maximum points in the 2008 Pirelli MSA Gravel Rally Championship as he won Saturday's Severn Valley National Rally.

Driving the Peugeot Cosworth, Burton, and co-driver Shelley Rogerson, finished nearly 25 seconds ahead of series leaders Jon Ingram and Ian Allsop after taking charge at the top of the leaderboard from the outset and never looking back despite concerns about their new engine making the distance.

Ingram and Allsop (Subaru Impreza WRC) came home ahead of defending champions Marcus Dodd and Andrew Bargery (Hyundai Accent WRC) after Dodd had earlier been hampered by a problem with the boost control pipe, which the HPM Motorsport team managed to fix at second service.

"It's good and it keeps the championship all open," said Burton, who was back in action in the championship after missing the previous round on the Isle of Man earlier this month. "I'm delighted with the result. I honestly didn't think we'd make it to the finish with the way the engine's been so I'm really pleased. It's been a great event with good stages."

Julian Reynolds and Patrick Walsh were fourth in their Subaru Impreza WRC. They had a relatively trouble-free run with the exception of a slight off in stage six and were followed by round three winners, Roger Duckworth and Mark Broomfield. Duckworth was not feeling well throughout the event and a problem with the diff controllers on stage five on his Subaru Impreza WRC did not help their push.

Scottish crew David Bogie and Kevin Rae were sixth in their Mitsubishi Evo 9 and took the honours in both Group N and the Mitsubishi Evo Challenge as they finished ahead of the same machine of Irish pairing Richard Cathcart and Martin Brady. Cathcart had an intercooler problem earlier in the day before their intercom went faulty on the final three stages.

Stephen Moore and Tony McHugh were eighth in their Ford Focus WRC as they struggled through the event with tyre problems. Keith Cronin and Greg Shinnors made it to the finish in their Mitsubishi Evo 9 despite losing all power on the final stage to take ninth with Nik Elsmore and Craig Drew rounding up the top ten in their Evo 9.

Significant retirements included Neil McCance and Graham Hopewell, who went out on stage three in Radnor, following an off in their Mitsubishi Evo 9, and Daniel Barry and Mark Bowens who retired on stage seven in their Evo after also going off.

In the two-wheel drive class, Nathan Crewe and John Connor were first home in their 1400cc MG ZR as they finished 21st overall despite an overheating problem on the final four stages whilst Michael Curtis and David Curtis took the Revolution Wheels award in their Mitsubishi Evo 5.

In the ANCRO Rally Challenge, running in the Severn Valley Clubman's Rally alongside the National event, Welsh crew Elfyn Evans and Gareth Roberts won as they finished an impressive third overall in their Ford Fiesta ST. Tom Walster claimed second in his Fiesta with Welshman Meilyr Evans in a similar car placed third.

However, maintaining his points lead was Cumbrian Kris Hall with Chris Ridge taking the lead in the co-drivers standings also.

The Pirelli MSA Gravel Rally Championship now returns for round five, the Swansea Bay National Rally on Saturday 19 July.

 

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