HUSBAND and wife crew Stuart and Linda Cariss won their class for the third consecutive year in the Roger Albert Clark Rally.
The couple, from Hessay, near York, took part in the rally, which started at Pickering Showground, in their 1973 Ford Escort and came home first in the up to 1300cc class.
The 82 competitors completed four stages in Dalby Forest before an overnight halt in Pickering, with the Cariss car in 36th place.
The following day, the event moved to the Cropton Forest area and Duncombe Park for a further six stages before taking in Croft Circuit, Hamsterley Forest and Kielder Forest en route to Carlisle.
The duo tackled problems with the rear axle overnight and started in 32nd place for the following day’s gruelling 85 miles over nine forest stages.
Entering the third stage, they had moved up to 28th place but a mistake saw them end up in a three-foot deep ditch.
The undamaged car was eventually winched back onto the road and they rejoined the rally in 44th place. With a late push they finished 32nd overall and regained their first in class status.
The couple are building a ‘new’ 1600cc 1969 Ford Escort for next year after seven years of entering with their current car.
Malton farmer and rally legend Steve Bannister, with Kevin Rae reading the notes, headed the event overall from stage one in Dalby Forest to stage 22 at Wauchope.
However, on stage 23 fellow Ford Escort man Martin McCormack took over and won by 17 seconds.
In third place, also in an Escort, was Will Onions with last year’s winning navigator, John Millington, alongside.
The 2011 Northern Rally champion Charlie Taylor, in a Ford Escort, and Pickering’s Steve Bielby were always in the top ten before finishing eighth overall.
At the start of the rally, Bob Adamson and Pickering-based co-driver Dick Wardle were looking for a top 20 finish. A problem with a half shaft after stage two was soon repaired and they went on to finish 15th overall in their Ford Escort.
Pickering garage owner Steve Magson and Geoff Atkinson, in a Vauxhall Chevette HSR, dropped a lot of time on stage four due to an electrical fault. When it was repaired, they went on to set fast stage times, but their rally ended two miles from the end when they rolled off the road.
In the Open Rally, last year’s winners, Barton Hill farmer Martyn Hawkswell and Nick Welch, in a Ford Escort, made it two triumphs on the trot – with a bit of luck.
The Opel Kadett of Allen McDowall was heading for victory but tried too hard to go clear and went off the road, giving Hawkswell the win.
The Friday night rally run over four stages was won by Mat Smith, of Pickering, and Giles Dykes in a Ford Ka, with Malton Motor Club mates Amanda and Derek Cornforth losing second place by four seconds.
Full results are at rogeralbertclarkrally.org