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Pickering’s Dick Wardle heads to Mull Rally
3:44pm Wednesday 9th October 2013 in Sport
SEVERAL Ryedale crews will make the long trek to the Isle of Mull for the 2013 Mull Rally this weekend, a gruelling 170-mile event held over the closed public roads of the Hebridean island.
Broken up into three legs, the event runs through Friday night, Saturday afternoon and Saturday night, with the majority of the 20 stages tackled in darkness.
Heading the local contingent is Pickering’s Dick Wardle, navigating in the Mitsubishi Evo 6 of Settle’s Jonathan Mounsey at car nine.
Despite an off on the daylight leg and turbo problems last year, the pair still finished sixth overall, so with a clean run could be real contenders for a top-five finish.
Fellow Malton Motor Club (MMC) members Billy Bird and Plug Pulleyn are back again in their Vauxhall Chevette at car 20, and having ironed out several small reliability problems during the year will be looking to make it third time lucky after two years of retirements while challenging the top ten.
Club-mates Curly Haigh, from Helperby, and Sally Peacock start as car 24 in their Ford Escort Mk1 and will be hoping for a clean run after an uncharacteristic retirement last year after leaving the road on the final leg.
Car 26 is Haigh and Peacock’s regular sparring partners Graham Wilcock and Donna Harper in their Opel Manta.
The Raskelf driver has only competed in one event since last year’s Mull Rally, but with more than 40 years of experience between him and Harper, and 10 years competing on this event together, they are a good bet for class three honours.
Another MMC crew making the trip are Tommi Graham and Mike Bailey in their newly acquired Mitsubishi Evo 6. A swap back to four-wheel drive after several years in a Ford Escort may take time to get used to, but the pair are sure to finish ahead of their seeding of 61.
After a year out, Andrew Moverley heads back to Mull in his Mk2 Escort with Consett’s Chris Dodds in the co-driver’s seat. His last visit brought an early retirement but if his recent run on the Mike Stephenson Memorial Rally is anything to go by he should be on for a good result.
Malton’s Rob Meynell and Tom Spencer start at 94 in their Mini Clubman and, in a bid to tackle the island’s endless crests and jumps, have opted for bigger, 13-inch wheels and, with a few years’ experience now under their belts, should be battling for a class one award.
Perhaps a bigger battle will be to keep ahead of Tom’s younger brother, Sam Spencer, who will start two cars back at 96.
Sam will be joining his regular driver and club-mate Geoff Dean and, as Dean is more accustomed to gravel rallies and a newcomer to Mull, the pair will be happy just to keep the big BMW 325i on the narrow island roads.
An additional target for all of the above is the award for highest-placed Malton Motor Club crew, a new award on the event in recognition of the strong support from the club.
The rally starts on Friday at 7.30pm and event updates can be found at www.mullrally.co.uk
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