Burton shines brightest in the Astra sun. On a gloriously sunny day in North Wales, Andy Burton and John Roberts took a superb victory on the Astra Stages National Rally in their Peugeot-Cosworth, but not before a dramatic final few stages had...
Burton shines brightest in the Astra sun.
On a gloriously sunny day in North Wales, Andy Burton and John Roberts took a superb victory on the Astra Stages National Rally in their Peugeot-Cosworth, but not before a dramatic final few stages had seen the lead change several times in the quest for maximum Kumho National Championship points.
Burton was embroiled in an early battle with Round One winner Marcus Dodd, as the pair blazed a trail through the Clocaenog Forests, separated by only 16 seconds. Disaster struck for Burton however, when a rear puncture in the Penmachno South stage cost him dearly, and also held up Kumho backed driver David Mann, David having to stop completely at times due to the wall of dust that Burton was creating.
Dodd now lead from reigning Kumho National Champion Mark Perrott in his Ford Escort WRC. Marcus lost the lead in the Penllyn stage, allowing Perrott to take over at the top of the field. As the battle returned to Clocaenog for the final loop of stages, Perrott fell foul of a timing irregularity on the penultimate stage, receiving a ten minute penalty, and with the stage also being scrubbed from the results, Burton was favourite again.
Dodd failed to make it out of the second Alwen stage, with front end damage to the Impreza WRC. Burton was therefore able to take up the lead mantle again, and this time there were no mistakes as he guided the red rocket to a fine victory from Bob Ceen and Raymond Munro in their respective Subaru's after ten long and tough stages.
In the Astra Stages Clubmans Rally, Alistair and Andrew Adams put in a fine performance to take the spoils in their Ford Escort RS, and maximum Kumho Championship points in the process. A close second was Ieuan Rowlands/Andy Davies in their similar machine. Despite being pipped for the overall win, they were clear winners in Class 2. Third, and producing another strong driver was Scotsman Allan McDowall, partnered by Gavin Heseltine.
They were just ahead of the other Rowlands brother, John, in fourth. Kumho regulars Steve Magson and Andy Carter also finished well. Magson grateful to rival Craig Dykes for loaning him a shock absorber, whilst Carter was rueful after a puncture cost three minutes, which would have given him a clean shot at the leader.
The Astra Stages Post Historic category saw victory taken by Richard Gower/Mark Crisp (Ford Escort). Gower was 26 seconds faster than the rest of the field in the 11-mile Clocaenog Main stage as he edged home in front of a gaggle of Mk1 Escorts', led by Rupert Lomax and Paul Alcock.
Steve Perez took the spoils in the Historic section, with Jonty Bolsover calling the corners in the VK backed Porsche. A titanic battle with Dessie Nutt saw the duo separated by just one second going into the final stage. Cool headed Perez gave it everything in the final Clocaenog Main stage and took victory by just three seconds after a great scrap. Chris Green featured strongly in his Ford Lotus Cortina, edging ahead of adventurous Swede Nils Bergquist, making his fifth visit to the event - and finally getting a finish.
Full results and stage times can be found at www.kumhorally.info.