Rallying: Stokes tightens grip on Championship

David Stokes in action at the Harry Flatters Rally. Picture by Chris Huish

David Stokes in action at the Harry Flatters Rally. Picture by Chris Huish

First published in Sport Gazette Series: Photograph of the Author by , Sports editor covering the Thornbury, Dursley and Yate areas

DAVID Stokes tightened his grip on the Mintex BHRC MSA Historic Rally Championship with a superb second overall and first in category two as well as being the first Welsh Historic Championship crew home on the Stephens and George Harry Flatters Rally.

Brecon Motor Club had attracted a high quality entry of 115 crews for the dual status event with historic cars first on the road followed by the modern cars.

Thirteen tests lay ahead over the notorious Epynt ranges, a venue the Dursley driver knows well and enjoys having won rallies back in the mid-seventies over Epynt when the roads were a lot narrower and bumpier than they are today.

Stokes and co-driver Guy Weaver were fastest out of blocks in category two over the first loop of three stages, edging out the similar car of Simon Tysoe.

The lead increased to eight seconds after stage six.

With the stages now reversed, leg 3 saw Stokes start to pull away from Tysoe.

The Draycott Bakeries/Ashmores backed RS1600 was running faultlessly and over leg four the lead increased further with just one long test to go.

There were no dramas over the final test to see Stokes emerge victorious in category two as the cars arrived back at the Brecon Theatre finish by 46 seconds from Tysoe, who finished second in category two and third overall.

Co-driver Guy Weaver said: "Its been a good day for us. David has driven faster over Epynt today than he's ever done.

"Simon pushed us hard in the morning but we gradually opened the gap."

Yate co-driver Pauline Gullick took an excellent fifth overall alongside five-time British rally champion Jimmy McRae in the wonderful sounding Chevrolet engined Vauxhall Frienza on the historic event.

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