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Starlight Novices Rally 2003

Wolverhampton & South Staffs Car Club

22nd/23rd November 2003

Clerk of the Course: John Griffiths

Route: 130 Miles

Maps: 138

Starters: 38

Winners: Darren Lesson/Ian Hewlett (Ford Escort)

Darren Lesson/Ian Hewlett emerged from the fog as winners of the Starlight Novices Rally.

The Wolverhampton & South Staffs CC event used a 100 mile route in the Bridgenorth-Church Stretton area. Thirty-eight crews took the start at Wombourne and twenty-six made it to the finish at Cleobury Mortimer.

Fog covered the lanes for the first half and it was on these sections that all the leading crews dropped their only penalties, the second half, which was largely free of fog saw a number of clean sheets.

Lesson/Hewlett were well clear of the field, finishing two and a half minutes ahead of second placed Chris Green/Andy Lawrence, both these crews were running in the Semi-Expert Class.

The first time pairing of David Fox/Jonty Bloxham were third in a Nova and took the Novice Class award. The winners of the Beginners category followed in fourth, these were Steve Southall/Chris Webber in a Toyota Corolla.

John Morris/Vicki Price looked set to take second place when they put their Peugeot 309 off the road with about two-thirds of the rally complete.

The Starlight was a novice rally and expert crews were not eligible for overall placings. Two expert crews started, Steve Massey/Steve Coupland were seventh fastest over the route, while Simon Gibson/Alan Ogden were tenth fastest.

Touring car regular Phil Bennett entered the event, with Rebecca Baldock on the maps, he finished fifteenth overall. Top national co-driver Phil Clarke swapped seats for the night and with his brother John Clarke finished twelfth overall.


Pos Driver Navigator Car Penalty
1 Darren Lesson Ian Hewlett Ford Escort 3m 15s
2 Chris Green Andy Lawrence Ford Escort RS 5m 40s
3 David Fox Jonty Bloxham Vauxhall Nova 6m 27s
4 Steve Southall Chris Webber Toyota Corolla 6m 47s
5 Ian Williams Ian Jarman Vauxhall Astra 7m 11s
6 Frank Evans Russ Evans Toyota Corolla 7m 20s
7 Mark Gamble Shane Gamble Peugeot 205 8m 03s
8 Matthew Pierce Carl Jones Peugeot 205 GTi 8m 50s
9 Martin Ridge Chris Ridge Peugeot 205 10m 12s
10 Simon Bentley Philippa Bentley Austin Mini 10m 15s
11 Robert O'Dowd David O'Dowd Vauxhall Nova SR 10m 35s
12 Oliver Davies Richard Howells Vauxhall Astra GTE 10m 38s
13 Phil Bennett Rebecca Baldcock Proton Impian 11m 08s
14 Mick Tonks Dave Williamson Peugeot 205 GTi 11m 40s
15 Phil Clarke John Clarke TBA 13m 02s
16 Pete Turner Jonny Wilks Peugeot 205 14m 07s
17 Mark Stokes Chris Valentine TBA 14m 12s
18 Dave Dodds Karl Ellis Land Rover 110 17m 12s
19 Andrew Evans Keith Witton TBA 18m 29s
20 John Jennings Chris Bennett Vauxhall Astra 1F 28m 24s
21 Nicolas Nicolaou David Millard Vauxhall Nova GTE 2F 08m 21s
22 Rich Derricutt Rich Parry TBA 2F 13m 09s
23 Michael Vergers James Scott BMW 320i 6F 17m 51s
24 Paul Barnacle Chris Atkinson Ford Escort RS2000 8F 28m 20s
1 Steve Massey Steve Coupland Peugeot 205 GTi 7m 24s
2 Simon Gibson Alan Ogden Ford Escort 9m 05s