On behalf of Midland Manor Motor Club, I would like to thank you for your support of the 41st running of the Severn Valley Stages. Your support has ensured that there will be a 42nd
A terrific field of 116 starters has also significantly fuelled the enthusiasm within the team after a number of not so good years.
We know a small number of you probably didn't have a great day with troubles and incidents but we sincerely hope that the majority enjoyed the event and we look forward to seeing you all in mid Wales in 2015.
The Organising Committee
Francis Hooks Another Win
Rhuddlan’s Luke Francis got the better of a day long battle to take victory on the Severn Valley Stages and, with it, the lead in the Pirelli MSA Welsh Forest Rally Championship.
Francis started the event suffering the effects of a flu bug and it was Bury duo Tom Naughton and Andy Mort who set the fastest time on the first of the rally’s eight stage, two seconds quicker than the similar Mitsubishi Evo 8 of Francis and the Subaru Impreza of Northwich driver Alex Allingham, co-driven by Chris Williams from Daventry.
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While Allingham moved into the lead on the next stage, stage three saw Francis and his co-driver, John H Roberts from Colwyn Bay, begin to find their pace in their Bob Francis Crane Hire backed car, moving up to second place before taking the lead on the next stage. Stage four was pivotal from the Championship point of view with Worcester duo Paul Davy and Roger Allen, who had topped the table going into the event, ending their rally after putting their Subaru Impreza into a muddy ditch.
Also out of the event and into a ditch were Brecon driver Sara Williams and co-driver Johnny ‘Tad’ Evans from Newtown in their Subaru Impreza. After the event they were full of praise for the crew of the following car, Wug and Max Utting, who stopped to help them out of their stricken vehicle.
Meanwhile Richard and Sarah Ceen retired at the end of the stage, the Wrexham crew suffering with clutch problems on their Ford Focus World Rally Car.
Elliot on top on Severn Valley Historic Stages
Nick Elliott and Dave Price took their second championship win of the season on the Severn Valley Historic Stages (Saturday 31 May), the fourth round of the West Wales Rally Spares R.A.C. Rally Championship.
From a field packed with quality, Elliott and Price (Ford Escort Mk2) revelled in stages in Crychan, Cefn and Halfway but had to keep pushing hard to see off a concerted challenge from the similar car of Richard Hill/Steffan Evans. However, one of the drives of the rally came from young Ben Llewellin and co-driver Paul Williams on their first full historic outing. They took third overall in their Ford Escort Mk2, just nine seconds adrift of Hill.
Ray Cunningham and Andrew Bushe were mighty in their Mini Cooper S to win Category 1, but only by 14 seconds from the Lotus Cortina of Simon Wallis and Graham Wride. Cunningham also took maximum points in the Aldon Automotive Mini and Imp Cup.
Championship newcomers and father and son crew Ernie and Will Graham (Ford Escort Mk1) took a fine victory in Category 2. Meanwhile, other category winners included Jason Pritchard/Phil Clarke (Ford Escort Mk2) in Category K and brothers Simon Crook and Alister Crook (Opel Manta) in Category O.
With 70 registered contenders starting the rally, the Builth Wells-based event maintained the high level of entries for the 2014 WWRS R.A.C. Rally Championship and also marked the third round of the Geoff Jones Motorsport Welsh Challenge.
Fresh from his trip to Morocco to service for his brother Frank, Ray Cunningham had a new co-driver in Andrew Bushe alongside and, after Bob Gibbons put his Ford Cortina Mk2 off on stage three, Cunningham led the Walker Diecastings Category 1 for the rest of the day. “It was okay until the last three stages when we lost second gear. So we just held on and kept it safe,” said Cunningham.
Peter Stimson and Mark Butler had been flying in their Ford Anglia. “We spun on stage two, but have more speed and confidence,” said Stimson. They remained Cunningham’s closest challenger, but Simon Wallis and Graham Wride (Lotus Cortina) were gaining on them too. Stimson and Wallis started stage four one second apart but by the end Wallis was ahead by ten and into a secure second place.