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Crews steeled for Trackrod Rally Yorkshire
9:44am Thursday 26th September 2013 in Sport
The Trackrod Rally Yorkshire rolls into Pickering tomorrow for its annual two days of high speed action in the North Yorkshire forests.
More than 160 crews and cars will contest a variety of events, from the penultimate rounds of the MSA British Championship and the REIS-Get Connected BTRDA Rally Series to the climax of the inaugural West Wales Rally Spares RAC Championship for historic vehicles.
Citroen DS3s dominate the British title race with Jukka Korhonen holding a 17-point advantage in his bid to become the first Finn for 13 years to take the ‘open’ crown.
His nearest challenger, Tom Cave, was the winner of the closest ever finish in the history of both the Trackrod Rally and British Championship 12 months ago, when he incredibly finished on the same total time, measured to a tenth of a second, only to be awarded the trophy on a tie-break from fellow Welshman Osian Pryce.
Of the local contingent, veteran Malton farmer Steve Bannister will attempt to defend the Historic Cup which leads the entourage into the forests, his trusty 1980s Escort pitched into battle against vehicles from rallying’s golden age – Porsche 911s to Lotus Cortinas and a Lancia Stratos.
Bannister was the first driver to win the Trackrod Rally three times outright in the late 1980s and is one of many top Yorkshire drivers hoping local knowledge will pay off.
Ripon dairy owner Charlie Payne, driving an ex-World Championship Ford Focus, leads the four-wheel drive Gold Star Championship in the BTRDA Series, while Driffield businessman Peter Smith bids for a county double, holding a slender single-point advantage, in an ageing but still ultra quick Mk1 Escort, in the two-wheel Silver Star section.
The action begins tomorrow with a ceremonial start for the British and Historic Championship runners in Pickering Market Place from 5.45pm.
The cars then head for the stages with nearby Dalby Woodyard the easiest for spectators to reach, accessed from Thornton--le-Dale on the A170, via the Forest Drive. The first historic car is due just after 8pm with the British Championship (BRC) runners through around 10pm.
Although low level lighting has been set up, organisers advise taking good footwear and a torch.
The BTRDA section of the rally – entitled the Trackrod Forest Stages – joins the action on Saturday morning. Spectators; areas, with refreshments and toilets, have been set up in Cropton, accessed from Wrelton on the A170 (Historic 8.30am onwards, BRC 11am, BTRDA 1pm), Dalby (same as Friday only with another viewing point at Housedale, BRC from 1.30pm, BTRDA 3.40pm) and Langdale at Barley Carr (new for 2013), again signed from the A170 at West Ayton (Historic 11.20am, BRC 1.50pm, BTRDA 3.50pm).
Saturday’s Forest Stages Rally begins outside rally headquarters at Pickering Showground, a mile south of the town on the A169, at 10.30am and all events finish at the same venue (Historic from 12.40pm, BRC 4.35pm, BTRDA 5.10pm). Further details from the www.rallyyorkshire.co.uk website.
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