Kent's James Potter heads the Kumho Clubmans Rally Championship after producing an excellent last stage performance on the Kall Kwik National Rally, the first round of the series. The 6"6 Sittingbourne driver was making his first visit to the ...
Kent's James Potter heads the Kumho Clubmans Rally Championship after producing an excellent last stage performance on the Kall Kwik National Rally, the first round of the series.
The 6"6 Sittingbourne driver was making his first visit to the Yorkshire forests and was delighted to have been on the pace throughout the eight stages in the classic North Yorkshire forests. Entering the final stage in Langdale, the Ford Escort driver was close behind Hull driver Andy Carter, also in an Escort. Potter threw caution to the wind and took an incredible thirteen seconds off Carter to record his first ever victory within the Kumho Clubmans series, and eleventh overall in the process.
Top Junior was young Ludlow driver Joe Price, the 20 year old producing some strong stage times in the afternoon loop of stages to move up the rankings in his Talbot Sunbeam. Yorkshire veteran and local favourite Steve Magson took fourth after front brake problems in his unique Opel Kadett RWD. Magson admitted to being a little cautious at times after not completing the first stage on a number of rallies last year.
Performance of the rally, as recognised by the Kumho Star of the Meeting Award (winning four free Kumho rally tyres of their choice) had to be the father and son duo of Eddie O'Donnell Jnr and Eddie Snr. Headgasket failure on the previous day's Snowman Rally forced an early retirement on the Scottish event. Undeterred, the gritty Scots from the Isle of Mull changed the headgasket and arrived in Yorkshire at 3am on the Sunday. Despite a couple of early morning spins, they battled on to the finish to claim a superb third in up to 2000cc class.
Iain Shirlaw took maximum points in the up to 1600cc class in his Vauxhall Nova GSi. Despite total brake failure on the fourth stage which led to a time consuming spin on the fifth, Shirlaw kept his head as an unusually high attrition rate in the slippery stages caught out many a driver.
One such driver was the much fancied Craig Dykes in his immaculate MkII Escort. Unfortunately the Selby based driver failed to reach the end of the first stage after sliding off the road in tricky morning conditions.
Second in the 1600cc class was Ian McCulloch, who had a trying but enjoyable day in his venerable Toyota Corolla GT. Co-driver Rory Oliver Hall booked into a control two minutes early, only for the pair to take a stage maximum after sliding off in the second stage. Despite the problems, they battled on to the end to take a healthy points haul back to Oxfordshire.
Huw Littler-Jones also made the long journey to Pickering from North Wales to contest the up to 1300cc class in his Skoda Felicia LXi. A broken driveshaft on the third stage of the rally meant that the Ruthin driver had no option but to withdraw after a disappointing start to his Kumho Clubmans campaign.
TOP TEN REGISTERED KUMHO CLUBMANS FINISHERS ON KALL KWIK RALLY:
1 James Potter / Andrew Hebron / Ford Escort / 57.20
2 Andy Carter / Carl Briggs / Ford Escort / 57.32
3 Steve Magson / Geoff Atkinson / Opel Kadett / 58.47
4 Allan McDowall / Gavin Heseltine / Opel Kadett / 59.10
5 Alistair Adams / Andrew Adams / Ford Escort / 59.32
6 Paul Daniel / Kevin Bardon / Ford Escort / 59.47
7 Joe Price / Ian Allsop / Talbot Sunbeam / 59.59
8 Eddie O' Donnell / Eddie O' Donnell Snr / Ford Escort / 1.01.29
9 Rob Carr / Gavin Fielding / Ford Escort / 1.01.53
10 Howard Forrester / Martin Massey / Ford Escort / 1.05.35.