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Brilliant outing for Mat Smith in Riponian Stages Rally
9:30am Wednesday 22nd February 2012 in Motorsport
MAT SMITH had a brilliant outing in the Riponian Stages Rally on what was otherwise a mixed day for Malton Motor Club’s entries – including a bad crash.
The Ripon Motor Sport Club’s event, sponsored by Procters Luxury Coach Travel, was again a round of the Historic Rally Championship.
Starting from Thirsk, Sunday’s rally was held in good conditions and MMC’s Smith, with Neil Colls co-driving his Ford Ka, had a great time of it, finishing seventh overall and first in class ‘A’ up to 1400cc – winning the category by more than six minutes.
Their only problem was a faulty intercom which was sorted out at the half-way service.
Setting some very quick stage times and going quicker than some more powerful cars, Smith provided the drive of the rally.
Second in class ‘A’ was Sutton Bank’s Amanda Cornforth, also driving a Ford Ka, with dad Derek reading the notes.
Their rally was slowed by a brake problem but they still came away with some good points as they look to defend their Association of Northern Car Clubs’ Forest Championship title.
As for other MMC members, Garth Thomas and Chris Lawson in their Thomas the Baker Mk 2 Ford Escort had a strong finish but getting used to a new gearbox did cause a few problems.
John and Marc Clayton, in a BMW E30, and Mick Plowman and Nigel Boston, in a Mk 2 Escort, both rolled their cars. Plowman’s Escort was badly damaged after hitting a tree. However, nobody was hurt.
John Finch, with co-driver Paul Vasey in a BMW 318is, did make it further into the rally but retired after stage nine.
The Vauxhall Nova of Alan and Rachel Ward, from Kirkbymoorside, had to retire early due to a faulty coil. They are hoping for a change of luck on their next event.
Mick Kent and Miles Cartwright were pleased to finish this event in their Mike Kent Cars-entered Talbot Sunbeam 1.6ti, but a three-minute penalty for clocking early into a time control ended any chance of a good result.
Full results can be found at www.riponmotorsportclub.co.uk