Rallying: In-form Stokes triumphs again

Gazette Series: David Stokes in action at the Pirelli Historic CupPicture by KPB Photography David Stokes in action at the Pirelli Historic CupPicture by KPB Photography

DURSLEY driver David Stokes, together with Guy Weaver, continued their winning ways with yet another post historic category victory and second overall in Pirelli Historic Cup.

After their victory on the Tour of Hamsterley, the week was spent fitting the Escort RS1600 with a new cross member and steering rack.

The Pirelli Historic event was round two of the Mintex British Historic Championship and offered 55 miles in the Keilder Forest complex.

The fast narrow tracks and deep ditches have been a graveyard to many down the years on the old RAC rallies.

Three stages done twice were the order of the day and Stokes was quick out the box, setting fastest times on the opening two tests in the Shanks and Falstone, but an overshoot on the next stage in the Blackaburn complex saw them drop 15 seconds, reducing the lead to just seven seconds from the hard charging Stanley Orr, with Simon Tysoe holding third place at service.

The afternoon section comprised of another loop of the three stages.

A surprisingly slow time in stage four saw Stokes lose the lead to Orr. A seven second lead evaporated to an 11-second deficit, so a big push was needed over the final two tests.

Stokes reduced Orr's lead to just two seconds, taking nine seconds off the Irishman over 10 miles of Falstone.

All that remained was eight miles of Blackaburn, but there was no stopping Stokes now he had the bit between his teeth, stopping the clocks four seconds quicker than Orr to take victory by just two seconds after 55 competitive miles.

It was the duo's first ever category victory on the Pirelli and they are now outright leaders of the Mintex Historic series as they head north of the border for the Scottish Rally for a one day national rally, held over some classic tests.

Also out on the event was Yate lady Pauline Gullick, who co-drove five-time British champion Jimmy McRae to fifth overall in a Vauxhall Chevolet Frienza in the SMT colours, of the mid-70s car McRae drove.

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