Wardle and Mounsey set pace for North Yorkshire drivers at the Mull Rally 2013 (From Gazette & Herald)
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Wardle and Mounsey set pace for North Yorkshire drivers at the Mull Rally 2013
9:30am Wednesday 16th October 2013 in Sport
PICKERING navigator Dick Wardle and driver Jonathan Mounsey led home the Ryedale contingent by claiming sixth place at the Mull Rally 2013.
A field of 115 cars started the gruelling 150-mile event on the Isle of Mull, but only 64 crews finished the 19 special stages.
Wardle and Settle-based Mounsey made a slow start over the opening leg in the dark and they were floundering down in 13th place.
However, once they were into the daylight, the Mitsubishi Evo 6 crew began climbing up the leaderboard, setting 13 top-ten times over 19 stages to end the rally sixth overall, matching the previous year’s performance.
Four places behind them, recording their best result to date, were Helperby’s Curly Haigh and Sally Peacock.
A consistent drive in their Ford Escort Mk1 saw them comfortably inside the top 15 for most of the rally. A big push over the final 22-mile stage saw them sneak into the top ten to win the two-litre class by 43 seconds.
Fellow Malton Motor Club (MMC) crew Grum Wilcock and Donna Harper did not enjoy such an easy run.
They set a blistering pace over the opening leg to lead their class by 12 seconds. However, a misfire on stage 13 forced them to stop. The fault was traced to a broken throttle linkage and, once repaired, they were able to restart the final leg.
Despite good times over the final four stages, the time penalties incurred saw them finish 26th overall, winning the award for best Malton Motor Club crew.
MMC’s Andrew Moverley made a successful return to Mull after a year off and, from a seeding of 82, climbed from an early position of 70th to end the rally 40th overall.
Some 34 seconds back and 42nd overall were MMC club-mates Geoff Dean and Sam Spencer in their BMW 325i.
Despite Dean being a newcomer to Mull, after the first night the pair were lying 54th overall. A high speed spin on the opening stage of the daylight leg left the car in a ditch. The five minutes lost getting the car back on the road dropped them down the order.
Luckily there was no major damage and they were able to continue to finish 42nd overall.
The family rivalry between Sam Spencer and his elder brother, Tom, was shortlived.
He and Malton’s Rob Meynell struggled for traction on the opening stage, but a swap back onto the Mini’s more traditional 10-inch wheels saw their stage times improve. They were 71st and fourth in class going into the daylight leg.
After the opening loop of stages, they had passed Dean and Spencer and were up to 66th overall and third in class, but a lack of oil pressure and a major engine rattle forced them to retire after stage 12.
MMC’s Billy Bird and Plug Pulleyn also failed to finish.
A slow opening leg meant they restarted in 18th place, but a big push in the daylight promoted them to 14th with four stages to go.
Tenth fastest on the first 14-mile stage of the leg moved them up to 11th before a stunning seventh and third fastest on stages 17 and 18 moved them into the top ten with just the final 22-mile stage to go.
However, three miles from the end, the Chevette crew broke a halfshaft and were forced to retire within sight of the finish.
The event was won by islander John MacCrone driving a Ford Fiesta S2400 continuing an 11-year domination by home drivers.
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