David Stokes of Dursley finishes second in category at Todd’s Leap Ulster Historic Rally
5:00pm Sunday 1st September 2013 in Sport
DURSLEY’S David Stokes took a solid fifth overall and second in category two on last weekend’s Todd’s Leap Ulster Historic rally, writes Paul Willetts.
The event was the latest round of the Mintex British Historic series as well as the Irish historic Championship, but also a qualifying round of both British and Irish Tarmac Rally Championships.
The Historic event offered 13 tight, twisty and bumpy stages, five of which took place on Friday evening, but heavy rain had left the stages extremely slippery especially with the WRC cars running ahead of the historic field dragging mud on to the tarmac.
Stokes stopped the clocks six seconds slower than rival Richard Hill on the opening test at Malabenny Hill, but reduced that lead to just two seconds on the second stage. Hill extended his lead over the final three tests on Friday evening, leaving the Dursley baker second in category two overnight.
Day two offered eight stages with such wonderful names as Widow Magee, Sloughan Glen, St Angelo and Caran Bridge.
The opening two stages were very slippery and Stokes had possibly made a wrong tyre choice, dropping time to the similar car of Hill.
A change of tyres at service improved things, but Hill had a solid lead and there was no point in pushing hard so he settled for second and more good championship points.
Stokes’ co-driver Guy Weaver said: “It was a really tricky event – so slippery.
“Richard got the jump on us, and we had a trouble free run but we couldn’t close the gap, so settled for good points in the championship.”
The Draycott Bakeries/Ashmores backed Escort RS1600 hadn’t missed a beat all weekend, so their attention now turns to the 50th anniversary of the Manx International Rally in September, an event Stokes first visited in the late 60s in a Ford Anglia.
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