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Mid Wales Stages 1997

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Newtown & District Auto Club

18th May 1997

Clerk of the Course: Richard Edwards & Graham Evans

Stages: 10

Venue: Ceri, Sarnau & Radnor

Starters: 76

Winners: Andy Burton/Rob Morgan (Peugeot 306R4)

After a series of problematic events, Andy Burton brought his unique Peugeot 306R4 for a test session on the Mid Wales Stages and claimed the wild hybrid’s first victory.

Mid Wales Stages 1997

The outing had been designed to provide preparation for next month's Kerridge National Rally but it won nevertheless after the Pembridge driver put in a storming drive and decimated all the opposition on the longest stage of the rally.

The Newtown-based Mid-Wales Stages was a round of the Evans Windows Welsh Clubmans Championship, as well as the West and East Midlands series. In the morning, crews tackled a stage in Ceri Forest and three in the Sarnau complex. After lunch there was another test in Ceri, before the longest stage of the day in Radnor. The finish came after a re-run of the morning's Sarnau tests.

Local hero Dave Humphreys was the pre-event favourite, having won the rally for the past three years, but he was immediately beset by clutch problems on his Escort Cosworth on the opening stage. He managed to cure them before SS2, but the damage was done - he had dropped to 17th place, forty seconds off the lead.

He clawed his way back to second by the afternoon stage in Radnor but frustratingly finished up thirty-nine seconds behind the winner at the finish.

Burton/Rob Morgan took the fastest time on SS1 and retained the lead for the first two Sarnau tests. Greg Mills/Chris Jones had taken fastest times on the second, third and fourth stages, though, and they led by three seconds at the lunch halt.

Immediately after the break Burton took four seconds, and the lead back in Ceri 2; then he hammered the opposition with an amazing time in Radnor stealing 30s from his closest rival.

Reigning Welsh National Champion Mark Perrott, with Garry Mansell, had held third place early on, but were forced to retire when their Escort Cosworth broke a differential on SS4. Fourth place was taken by another Escort Cosworth, crewed by Gary Smith/Phil Clarke - a result which consolidated their lead in the Evans Windows Championship.

Geoff Smith/Ryland James were also testing for the Kerridge after a first-stage retirement on the Manx National; the Priority Airfreight team should have been encouraged with fifth overall.


Pos Driver Co-Driver Car Penalty
1 Andy Burton Rob Morgan Peugeot 306R4 46m 02s
2 Dave Humphreys Dave Lewis Ford Escort Cosworth 46m 41s
3 Greg Mills Chris Jones Ford Escort Cosworth 46m 41s
4 Gary Smith Phil Clarke Ford Escort Cosworth 48m 11s
5 Geoff Smith Ryland James Ford Escort Cosworth 48m 31s
6 Simon Redhead Alan Thomas Subaru Impreza 48m 58s
7 Shaun Gardener David Brick Subaru Legacy 49m 16s
8 Charlie Lamb Jim Plevey Ford Escort Cosworth 50m 02s
9 Graham Bayliss Graham Hopewell Ford Escort 50m 10s
10 John Lay Shaun Corley Ford Escort Cosworth 50m 11s