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Rallying: Malton racers’ historic joy
3:04pm Wednesday 17th October 2012 in Sport
Malton Motor Club’s Andy Smith and Neil Colls took a momentous win in the first-ever running of an historic class in the Turnock’s Mull Rally.
A wet weekend faced the crews tackling the gruelling event on the Scottish island. There were a few notable accidents too, though Smith and Colls avoided major scrapes in their Ford Escort Mk2 as they won their class by a margin of more than four and a half minutes on their way to 30th place overall.
It was an excellent achievement taking into account Smith’s lack of experience on the event.
Maintaining his top seed rating of the Ryedale crews, however, was Pickering’s Dick Wardle alongside Settle’s Jonathan Mounsey, the pair finishing sixth overall and collecting the award for best Yorkshire crew, despite putting the car off the road and damaging the front end during the daylight leg of the rally.
MMC clubmate Graham Wilcock and Donna Harper made it nine finishes from nine starts on their way to 14th overall and second in class three. Their prowess in the dark saw them climb four places over the final 23-mile stage.
Richard Spink and Sam Spencer climbed a staggering 70 places from their seeding of 108, despite collecting a puncture at the end of SS12, to finish the rally in 38th overall.
Malton’s Rob Meynell and Tom Spencer brought their Mini home 62nd overall and fourth in class and, despite hitting a sheep during the second leg of the rally, were awarded the trophy for best presented car.
Spencer was also awarded the Spirit of the Rally award after he waded into the sea on the event’s first night to assist the crew of a crashed car.
Billy Bird and Plug Pulleyn were lying ninth going into the final leg but with three stages to go they were forced to retire with a broken half shaft on their Vauxhall Chevette.
Also failing to finish were Helperby’s Chris Haigh and Sally Peacock. They started the final leg as class leaders but were caught out by some spilt diesel on a tricky hairpin left, sliding into a ditch and out of the rally.
The most dramatic retirement of the MMC crews came from Borough-bridge’s Simon Taylor in the Citroen C2 of Richard Sykes. They suffered a puncture on the opening stage, losing two a half minutes, and were making their way back up the leaderboard with blistering times before crashing heavily on stage eight. Luckily the crew walked away unharmed but with the damaged sustained to the car they were forced to retire.
Dervaig’s Calum Duffy was the overall rally winner.