Cole goes Fourth!
Cole and co-driver Elliott Edmondson have won the 2013 UTS Cheviot Keith Knox Stages Rally. After thirteen special stages on the Otterburn Military Ranges, their Ford Focus WRC topped the time sheets to give Cole a record-breaking fourth consecutive MSA Asphalt Rally Championship title.
They finished 20 seconds ahead of runners-up John Stone/Carl Williamson whose Skoda Fabia WRC recorded identical penalties to the Ford Escort MkII of Simon Mauger/Brian Cammack. However, once the tie-break had been invoked, Stone’s quicker time on the opening stage gave him the advantage, but Cammack had still done enough to claim the Asphalt Championship Co-drivers’ title.
A murky start for Cole and Elliott on Sunday
Photograph courtesy of 90right.com
The Subaru Imprezas of Michael Glendinning/Fiona Douglas and Darren Doherty/Stewart Merry were 4th & 5th respectively with Alex Laffey/Jack Morton rounding off the Top Six in their Ford Fiesta S2000.
With just the final stage to go Paul Bird, accompanied by Aled Davies, was holding 2nd overall but a visit to a Northumberland ditch in his Focus WRC cost them more than six minutes to the leaders, dropping them to an eventual 9th overall.
The event also marked the conclusion of the North of England Tarmacadam Championship which saw Chris Anderson/Chris Thirling (Ford Fiesta) holding a slender lead over the Peugeot 106 of Barry & Michael Lindsay. However, after the Fiesta had come to grief against an Otterburn fence, the pendulum swung in favour of the Lindsays who were 8th overall.
The unsettled weather – sunshine interspersed with some heavy showers - made the going doubly difficult for crews with a resultant retirement rate of more than 30% of the original starters. Peter Taylor/Paul Hughes, second behind Cole after the first couple of stages, put their Ford Focus WRC well off the road on the fourth stage while shortly afterwards Steve Simpson/Patrick Walsh, who had inherited runnersup spot, had to with draw when a crack appeared in their Impreza WRC’s gearbox. The car had filled with smoke and, with some long stage to come, they were not only worried that all the oil would drain out but also that it could cause a fire…
Last year’s Cheviot winner, John Indri, was battling manfully on in the slippery conditions in his two-wheel drive Darrian T90 GTR and was up to 5th overall before a transmission fault prevented him from leaving service to tackle the final two stages.
Rallies on the Otterburn Ranges always present a severe challenge, as all those contesting the UTS Cheviot Keith Knox Stages will agree and, although free of the ice that greeted competitors on the 2012 event, those crews featuring in the list of award winners have just cause to be pleased with themselves!
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Thank you Marshals
The organisers would like to take this opportunity to thank all the Marshals who turned out to help on the event, despite the often miserable weather, and to express their gratitude for all your help. We really could not have done it without you all!
To see some photographs of competitors, including a few local crews check out our 'Photographs' page
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See a video of the cars in action
Special Stage Review of Last Years Event
If you would like to see some of the Rally action, click here to see a YouTube clip of Special Stages TV report of the 2012 event
Help for Heroes
The event has traditionally supported Military charities over the past few years & this year the proceeds of the Recce will be donated to the Help for Heroes fund set up to help provide better facilities for wounded British servicemen and women.
Further information is available from the Event Press Officer :
Andrew Haill – Tel : 0121 313 1416
E-mail : firstname.lastname@example.org
to whom all applications for accreditation must be addressed.