DURSLEY'S David Stokes totally dominated category two on last weekend's Viking Motorsport/Links Electrical Mid Wales Historic Stages.
The Newtown and District Motor Club-organised event had attracted a very high quality entry of nearly 100 cars to the quaint Mid-Wales town of Newtown for Sunday's rally with just five stages making up the 55 competitive miles on offer in the classic Mid-Wales forests of Myherin, Tarenig and Hafren.
The event was round two of the WWRS RAC rally championship and the opening round of the British MSA Historic championship, which saw some crews registering to score points in both series.
Heavy overnight rain had left the stages extremely slippery.
But Stokes, with regular co-driver Guy Weaver on board the Draycott Bakeries and Ashmores backed Escort RS1600, was soon into his stride on the opening nine mile Pikes Peak test, stopping the clocks fastest of the category two runners, a lead he was never in danger of relinquishing all day.
He consolidated his lead over the eight mile Myherin stage, the new Pirelli tyres working very well.
After the first of two visits to the service area in Sweet Lamb, the daunting 17-mile Hafren North test lay in wait.
This was quickly followed by a further nine miles of Hafren South, before the second visit to service.
The Dursley driver increased his lead over the similar car of Simon Tysoe on the Hafren North test, but then incurred his only real problem of the day in Hafren South when transmission issues caused the car to cut out on the slow corners.
But sterling work by the service crew completed the job with 15 minutes to spare and sent them on their way to the final Pikes Peak test, this being a combination of stages one and two linked together with the final few miles on the downhill descent through a series of hairpin bends,
This was successfully negotiated and the crew returned victorious to Newtown in category two in both BHRC and RAC championships, and maximum points in both series.
They also finished an incredible 3rd overall, with the similar category two cars of Simon Tysoe and Warren Philliskirk finishing second and third in class behind Stokes.
Next on the agenda for Stokes is Rally North Wales in April, which uses more classic Welsh forests, this time in the shape of Dyfi, Gartheniog, Dyfnant and Aberhirnant from its Welshpool base.
Sunday represented a very good start to the championship, as the duo go in search of yet another historic title.