UK: National series Astra Stages summary

Burton claims Glory on the ASTRA! Andy Burton and John Roberts have won the Vauxhall Astra Stages for the second year running, after a near faultless performance in their Peugeot-Cosworth. The Herefordshire man scored maximum points in the KUMHO...

Burton claims Glory on the ASTRA!

Andy Burton and John Roberts have won the Vauxhall Astra Stages for the second year running, after a near faultless performance in their Peugeot-Cosworth. The Herefordshire man scored maximum points in the KUMHO National Rally Championship in the process as he took a fine 1 minute and 21 second win in atrocious wet weather conditions in North Wales.

Try as he might, there was nothing that Roger Duckworth could do to close the gap in his Subaru Impreza WRC. Duckworth started slowly and just could not catch Burton despite his best efforts. Scoring a fine third was the Toyota Corolla WRC of Marcus Dodd and Stephen McAuley. Marcus never quite on the pace all day as he kept the Corolla WRC out of trouble and recorded his first rally finish for the year.

Steve Perez recorded his best Kumho National Rally Championship finish to date as he claimed 4th overall after a relatively trouble free run. Perez just edging out Hyundai Accent WRC driver Steve Petch who recovered from transmission problems earlier in the day. Petch's result boosting him in the Championship standings after his solid third on the Rallye Sunseeker. Fellow Hyundai WRC driver Craig Middleton had been up to fourth in the morning before engine problems forced him to retire. Another man in trouble was Mark Perrott. The 2002 Champion had been second before his centre differential broke in Penllyn.

Another driver to recover from early troubles was Bob Ceen, who fought back from engine problems earlier in the day to score a well earned sixth overall. Just behind Ceen was one of the stars of the rally, Dorian Rees.

The Llanybydder driver left it until the last two stages to make his bid for victory in the Production Cup, beating works Mitsubishi driver Brendan Crealey on the last stage to record an excellent two second victory, taking maximum Group N points in the process. The result was Dorian's best ever result at National level in his recently acquired Subaru.

Yorkshireman Charlie Payne struggled in the second half of the day without second gear, but still managed to keep his Hyundai Accent WRC inside in the Top 10 with a fine ninth place. Payne only four seconds ahead of the flying Paul Wedgebury, who scooped the Kumho Star of the Rally award for his efforts during the day.

Wedgebury took the honours in the Evo Challenge on the day, nearly forty seconds ahead of second placed Rory Galligan. Martin Sansom recovered from a steady start to close right in on the front two at the end, as he finished a fine third, and continued his steady start to the season in a new car. Richard Hill recovered from three punctures in his Evo to finish fourth, despite losing over a minute on the day.

In the Peugeot TOTAL 206 Super Cup, all eyes were on Ieuan Rowlands at the finish as he took a superb six second victory in his CAMSport backed car. Rowlands and Kelvin Savage recovered from a puncture early on and a broken front strut mounting, but the Welsh speaking duo kept their rivals at bay throughout the event as they scored an impressive first ever Peugeot Super Cup victory. Rowlands edged out both Stuart Jones and Chris Moore on the day, with Mike Faulkner also enjoying an excellent run of form to finish 4th on the event.

In the Kumho Clubman Rally, Tim Pearcey and Mick Johnson had an effective time on the stages, despite Johnson being sick all day. Alistair Adams produced a fantastic final stage charge to claim second, with James Potter and Allan McDowall third and fourth respectively. Andy Gwynne took 1600 honours and another win in the Motorsport Direct Cup to make it two out of two this season.

-knrc-

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About this article
Series Other rally
Drivers Stuart Jones , Dorian Rees , Marcus Dodd , Steve Perez , Stephen McAuley