WILKS EXCLUDED AFTER WINNING INYORKSHIRE In a repeat of his dominant performance in 2007, Guy Wilks took victory on every stage of Rally Yorkshire, beating title rival Mark Higgins by a minute and thirty seconds at the end of the penultimate...
WILKS EXCLUDED AFTER WINNING INYORKSHIRE
In a repeat of his dominant performance in 2007, Guy Wilks took victory on every stage of Rally Yorkshire, beating title rival Mark Higgins by a minute and thirty seconds at the end of the penultimate rally in the Tesco 99 Octane MSA British Rally Championship.
However, the result was overturned soon after the finish ceremony, when a protest relating to his Mitsubishi was lodged, leaving Mark Higgins and Rory Kennedy classified as provisional winners. At time of going to press, the results are still provisional as the statement below explains.
"Prior to the results of International Rally Yorkshire being declared final, a valid protest was received regarding a technical infringement relating to car No.1. After interviewing all parties and considering a technical report from the BRC eligibility scrutineer, the event stewards excluded car No.1 from the results.
Notification of intent to appeal was subsequently received and consequently the results of International Rally Yorkshire 2008 remain Provisional until the outcome of the appeal is known.
Until such time as the event results are declared final the Tesco 99 Octane MSA British Rally Championship tables reflecting the overall driver and co-driver, the teams and class Rally 4 will not be published."
The result of the rally will therefore not be known until an appeal is posted and decision on the outcome made. Mitsubishi Motors UK has ten days from the date of the event in which to lodge an appeal.
The start of the rally was foggy, but stunning sunshine broke through soon after, bathing the competitors throughout the ten fast stages. The battle between Wilks/Moynihan's Mitsubishi and Higgins/Kennedy' Subaru got of to a reasonably close start, but Higgins dropped over a minute when his gear linkage broke, meaning a chase was fruitless.
Even if Wilks' appeal is successful and he is re-instated, Higgins would still take over the joint lead of the Championship alongside his brother David, who snatched third from Darren Gass/Neil Shanks, the reigning Pirelli Star Driver having problems on the final stage which dropped from third to sixth on the final road section. His eventual eleventh place after penalties was certainly not representative of his performance on the stages.
Taking the Rally 3 class win were Brian O'Mahony/John Higgins in the front wheel drive Clio S1600, although they suffered all day with the same down-on power engine that had plagued them on the Ulster Rally.
Also in Rally 3 was Fin McCaul who took his sideways BMW to victory in the BRC's Diesel Rally Cup after Steve Graham retired his Astra with transmission problems. The result also secures the Diesel title for McCaul for the second year in a row, even with two scoring opportunities remaining on Rally GB.
Rally 2 was won by a Pirelli Star Driver nominee Adam Gould with Seb Marshall alongside. Shaking of early flu-like symptoms, Adam's text-book victory also put them just one place behind O'Mahony overall, taking tenth place in the BRC.
Driving a storming event and finishing just two places behind Gould were Luke Pinder/Kim Baker, despite a broken gear linkage in the Puma. The youngster was rewarded with the fifth Pirelli "yellow jersey", putting him in the end of season shoot-out for the fully funded Pirelli Star Driver prize in the 2009 BRC.
The Citroen C2R2 Cup was won by Jason Pritchard/George Gwynn, over a minute clear of Matt Cotton/Anthony Godden, but Andrew Hockridge/Rich Mills still lead the series with Cotton two points behind.
Suzuki Swift Sport Cup drivers occupy all the places in Rally 1, and it is in that series that a new champion has been crowned. Mark Gamble/Steve Link had suffered a puncture early on, but then took chunks of time throughout the day to lie second after the penultimate stage.
Gordon Nichol/Emma Morrison had led after Gamble's puncture, but their event and Championship chances were dashed on the start line of the final stage. The clutch cable snapped, dropping them from first to fourth and gifting the title of inaugural Suzuki Swift Sport Cup to Gamble.
Coverage of the event is on Sky Sports Xtra at 19.00 tonight (Monday 29th). Listings of all Sky Sports coverage of the Tesco 99 Octane MSA British Rally Championship are available on the BRC website HERE