LUDLOW'S Robert Gough overcame scorching heat and disintegrating tyres to claim a top three finish in the historic section of the Nicky Grist Stages held in and around Builth Wells.

And he did it without regular co-driver Jack Bowen who took the seat alongside Perry Gardner in a BTRDA event, Sam Collis calling on his vast experience to help him to a podium finish.

It proved a thrilling contest for Gough in his Escort RS1800 as he battled with the Fiat 131 of Nick Elliott throughout the day only to lose out by just six seconds.

The Ludlow driver admitted he was delighted with his 21st overall and third-placed historic.

He said: "I had a real go on the last one [stage] and, despite shot tyres we were moving forward - the speed is coming with every event. Thanks to Sam for stepping in, he did a great job.”

Elsewhere there was a maiden BTRDA 1400 series win for Nigel Jenkins, ably assisted by his new Herefordshire-based co-driver Dan Petrie in the NJ Autos 1400 Vauxhall Nova.

Jenkins, driving in his first proper gravel event for a long while, was immediately hot on the heels of class leader Pete Gorst in his Nova, arriving back at the mid-point service 41 seconds adrift.

That margin was down to 20 seconds with just nine miles of the Crychan stages remaining but he was handed victory when Gorst went off in the final mile to give Jenkins the class win and 47th overall.

He said: "It's been a long time coming this 1400 win but it’s nice, I had blown the cobwebs away by the second loop and really pushed hard, so hopefully this will be like buses now!"