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Malton Forest Rally increases number of entries
12:02pm Wednesday 31st October 2012 in Sport
THE MEM Malton Forest Rally has bucked the national trend of reduced entries with 69 cars – nine more than last year – set to line up at Dalby Forest on Sunday for the event’s tenth running.
The rally counts for a number of regional championships and the Motoscope Northern Historic series. It is the 14th year that former British champion Chris Mellors, as proprietor of sponsors MEM Proton, who prepare Proton S2000 rally cars for the Asia Pacific and IRC championships, has supported Malton Motor Club events.
The event is divided into two categories, with historic cars running ten minutes in front of the main field.
Leading the historics will be last year’s winner, Tim Mason, from Bradford, in his Porsche 911, with a close challenge expected from Malton potato farmer Steve Bannister in his competitive Mk II Ford Escort, with Louise Sutherland co-driving.
They will be followed by Matthew Robinson (Mk II Escort), Charlie Taylor from Northallerton, current leader in the Motoscope Northern Historic Championship, and Pickering garage owner Steve Magson in his Chevette HSR, with Geoff Atkinson reading the notes.
Chris Birkbeck from Skelton has borrowed Pete Smith’s Opel Kadett as the latter is competing in the Silver Fern Historic event in New Zealand this weekend.
Leading the main field away will be event favourites Charlie Payne and Craig Thorley, of Ripon, in the Just Ferries-sponsored Ford Focus World Rally Car, hoping to make it four wins on the trot.
Their main challenger is likely to be Thirsk’s Peter Stephenson and Ian Windress, also in a Focus WRC.
The Malton father and son team Phil and Simon Pickard in a Subaru Impreza will also hope to be in the frame.
Other local crews expected to do well include Mat Smith, of Pickering, in his Ford KA, while other Malton Club drivers entered include Andrew Robinson, Oli Mellors, son of sponsor Chris, and Gareth Thomas.
Spectators are welcome and special car parks have been arranged at Langdale (Birch Hall), Cropton (Spiers House) and Gale Rigg (Raindale Head) forests. Local scouts and Rotary Club members will marshal these and any surplus revenue will go to these organisations. A charge of £10 per car will give access to all spectator stages.
A number of local companies – SM Autocare; Calverts Carpets; Bogg Brothers; Something For The Weekend, Sir; Watermark; and TVC Electrical – have sponsored stages.
The first competitor leaves from Adderstone Fields Service area in Dalby Forest at 9.01am and proceeds direct to the first stage at Langdale, to start at 9.22am. Other stage start times are: Cropton 1 10.47am; Gale Rigg 1 11.03am; Langdale 2 12.35pm; Cropton 2 2.10pm; Gale Rigg 2 2.34pm. The first cars are expected back at the Dalby Visitor Centre finish at 3.17pm.
A full entry list and details of timings are at www.maltonforestrally.co.uk.