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Rallying: Ryedale racers ready for island adventure
2:49pm Wednesday 10th October 2012 in Sport
A number of Ryedale crews head to the Hebridean island of Mull this weekend to contest the 43rd Mull Rally.
The event, from October 12 to 14, is held annually with competitors facing 150 stage miles on the closed public roads of the island, with the majority of the rally taking place during the hours of darkness.
Despite the event being over 350 miles away, it has a loyal following from Malton Motor Club and this year 14 members will line up at the start.
Heading the local contingent will be Pickering co-driver Dick Wardle, who is contesting the rally with Settle’s Jonathan Mounsey in a Mitsubishi Evo 6.
The pair finished sixth overall last year and will be hoping for another good run this time.
Starting at car 16 are event stalwarts Billy Bird and Plug Pulleyn in their Vauxhall Chevette. This is the third year the pairing have used the Chevette and, after 10th overall and a retirement in 2010 and 2011 respectively, they have upgraded the engine from two litres to 2.3 in a bid to again challenge the top 10.
Helperby’s Chris Haigh and Sally Peacock are seeded at 22 in their Ford Escort Mk1 and will as ever be top contenders for two-litre class honours – and hoping to again take a coveted place on the Mull Rally calendar after becoming the December crew with 12th place overall last year.
Seeded one car behind them is Chris’s former co-driver, Graham Wilcock, with Wigginton’s Donna Harper. The Raskelf driver swapped seats in 2004 and will this year be hoping to make it nine out of nine, having finished every year he has entered as a driver – no mean feat considering less than 50 per cent of the starters usually survive the duration of the rally.
Heading to Mull for the first time is MMC’s Andrew Smith in his Escort Mk2. Smith only took up stage rallying last year and has never visited Mull, but he and co-driver Neil Colls, of Strensall, will be looking to challenge for top honours in the new Historic Class.
Returning to the island after crashing out in 2010 are Malton’s Rob Meynell and Tom Spencer in their Mini Clubman.
Seeded at 92, they will look to challenge for top Mini honours while also trying the keep the powerful car on the undulating island roads.
There will also be a personal battle as Tom’s brother, Sam Spencer, starts at 108 alongside Easingwold’s Richard Spink in their unusual Honda-powered Mk2 Escort. The pair retired on the opening leg on their debut last year.
For more details of the event, visit mullrally.com. The first car will start the rally at 7.30pm on Friday, with live results available from www.flyingfinish.co.uk