Phil Clarke overcomes fuel problems to finish fifth

Jason Pritchard and Phil Clarke in their Ford Escort MkII Photographs: James Hatfield.

Jason Pritchard and Phil Clarke in their Ford Escort MkII Photographs: James Hatfield.

First published in Sport

CHURCH Stretton co-driver Phil Clarke overcame fuel problems to finish fifth and first in class at the RAC Historic Rally Championship in Builth Wells.

Ludlow Castle Motor Club’s Clarke joined forces with Jason Pritchard, from Builth Wells, in his North Road Garage supported Ford Escort MkII, for an impressive run in the historic section which ran over 45 miles of Mid Wales Forestry.

The pair non-scored on the first two rounds of the championship, but bagged some good points on the third round, so they were hopeful of a decent run on Pritchard’s home event.

Lying in fifth place after two stages, only 12 seconds off the lead, disaster struck in the third stage as fuel problems beset the Escort, making them only 17th quickest, dropping them to ninth overall and 38 seconds off the lead.

With the fuel issue sorted Pritchard/Clarke attacked the four afternoon stages to set two fastest stage times, a half spin on stage seven compromised the attack, however they managed to climb up the leader board to finish fifth overall and first in class.

Another Ludlow Castle Motor Club member Alex Allingham and Chris Williams finished second overall in the modern section of the event. The duo had been seeded second in their reliable Subaru Impreza N10.

After a tense day-long battle with the top seeded crew and Pirelli MSA Welsh Rally Championship rivals Luke Francis and John H Roberts , Allingham and Williams finished second overall and first in class to keep up the pressure on their rivals.

On the road- rally front, several Ludlow members made their way to Newtown for the Eagle Rally.

There was disappointment for Andrew Sheers and Dan Petrie in Andrew’s Ford Escort, at number forty-two, when they were held up by a non-competing vehicle and their rally ended prematurely.

The father-and-daughter team of Andy and Fiona Moss finished 36th overall.

Andy kept his Peugeot 205 on the road and they were delighted to finish 36th overall and first mixed crew on only Fiona’s second rally.

Leominster driver Mike Hart wheeled out his VW Golf Gti and teamed up with Ludlow’s Keaton Williams.

Seeded at number 72, Williams, fresh from a class win on the recent Border 100, guided the experienced Hart to 23rd overall and first in the Novice class.

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