Get in touch: send your photos, videos, news & views by texting YOGAZ to 80360 or send an email»
Steve Bannister fastest two-wheel drive in Malcolm Wilson Rally
2:43pm Wednesday 6th March 2013 in Sport
STEVE BANNISTER again showed his style at the wheel of his Ford Escort when finishing the Malcolm Wilson Rally in Cumbria as the fastest in a two-wheel-drive car.
The Butterwick driver, with Louise Sutherland reading the notes, took the plaudits despite using an Historic specification car and facing stiff competition from British Trial & Rally Drivers’ Association championship regulars.
He won the class by just under two minutes, finishing 23rd overall behind a plethora of four-wheel-drive vehicles.
Reigning BTRDA Silver Star champions Matthew Robinson and Malton Motor Club (MMC) co-driver Nigel Hutchinson seemed like the only crew able to challenge Bannister early on and were equal on times after SS2 before an oil leak cut their race short.
Fellow MMC member Mat Smith was looking for more points for his 1400cc BTRDA campaign in his Ford Ka, following a good result on the opening round, the Wyedean Rally.
A rear puncture towards the end of SS2 slowed Smith slightly but he gave a consistent drive. Although again unable to match the pace of Julian Wilkes, he ended 30th overall, second in class and, most importantly, second 1400 to take championship points.
Also hoping to add to his Wyedean haul was Barton Hill driver Nick Carr, in his Nissan Micra. The 19-year-old was contesting only his second event and with co-driver Joe Sturdy was hoping for another good result in Rally First. Despite a considerable power disadvantage in their one-litre car they had a clean run to fourth in category and second in class.
Malton co-driver Sam Spencer was on the notes for Leicestershire’s Geoff Dean in a BMW 325i but, despite a problem-free run, were unable to challenge the class leaders, finishing sixth in class and 60th overall.
There was family rivalry at stake as Sam’s brother, Tom, was also contesting the rally, co-driving for Malton’s Stuart Boyes in a Ford Escort Mk2. Despite the Malcolm Wilson being Boyes’ first event in nearly 18 months, he and Spencer were third in class before a cloud of smoke at the end of SS3 signalled a blown head gasket and retirement.