Ludlow Castle Motor Club's Alex Allingham roars to victory in Newtown-based Mid Wales Stages Rally

First published in Sport

LUDLOW Castle Motor Club’s Alex Allingham has driven to his second successive victory, in Newtown-based Mid Wales Stages Rally.

Despite early problems with the throttle pedal, Allingham with co-driver Chris Williams, shone in the modern section and managed to set the fastest stage time on all four of the special stages.

But Andrew Clayworth and Ludlow’s Keaton Williams rolled the Clayworth’s Whitburn Coffee House- sponsored Ford Escort just a mile into the second stage.

The rear-end of the vehicle broke away and they caught a bank but Clayworth is hoping to repair the car in time for the Severn Valley Rally in May.

Ludlow members were also in evidence running Stage two of the rally, with the club providing the stage commander and several radio crews.

James Hamer and Mike Baker, in a Subaru Impreza, were other Castle members and they finished ninth overall, seventh in class and the first under-25 crew.

A split turbo boost pipe on the run out to the first stage hampered Hamer and Baker’s progress until they managed to carry out a temporary repair using insulation tape.

Hamer admitted to a few scary moments in the infamous Myheryn Stage but they survived and achieved a respectable finish.

Bridgnorth co-driver Jez Rogers jumped in alongside Claverley’s Jonathon Jones in the smaller capacity classes.

The crew, in a Fiesta R1, used the event as a test for their British Rally Championship campaign and they were 16thoverall and first in class after a trouble-free day.

Harvey Price and Chris Brooks brought out the venerable Ford Escort but they were forced to retire.

Meanwhile, there was disappointment for Ludlow co-driver Phil Clarke, who was out with Builth’s Jason Pritchard, in the historic section. They retired just a few miles into Stage Three, Sweet Lamb.

With the engine of Pritchard’s newly-acquired Ford Escort tuned for hard-surface events, 55 miles on gravel was testing.

On the first stage, Pikes Peak, Pritchard admitted the vehicle was being a little rusty and the engine struggled to reach its power band the crew set a 10th fastest time.

They were the third quickest on Stage Two, Myheryn, but their their event came to a premature end when a half shaft broke on the North Road Garage-sponsored Escort .

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