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Sweet Lamb Stages 1998

Ecurie Royal Oak Motor Club

20th September 1998

Clerk of the Course: Mike Rushton

Stages: 12 (46 Stage Miles)

Venue: Sweet Lamb

Starters: 70

Winners: Derek McGinnigle/Rupert Astbury (Ford Sierra 4x4)

Derek McGinnigle/Rupert Astbury (Ford Sierra 4x4) took their maiden rally win on the Sweet Lamb Stages. The 12 stage event had a number of leaders but most succumbed to mechanical problems and failed to make the Finish.

Sweet Lamb Stages 1998

The Ecurie Royal Oak event, a round of the Evans Windows Welsh Clubman Championship, used 12 stages of the Mid Wales testing venue.

McGinnigle/Astbury shared fastest time on Stage 1 with the Subaru Legacy RS of Ian Gwynne/Shaun O'Gorman, who were testing their car in preparation for the following weekend's Trackrod Forest Rally. Gwynne/O'Gorman then took fastest time on the next five stages. This meant that at the halfway point, the pair held a 31 second lead over McGinnigle/Astbury.

Disaster however struck for Gwynne/O'Gorman on the run out from Service to the start of Stage 7 when the Legacy ground to a halt with electrical problems. Also out at this point were Tim Ellis-Jones/Mark Lewis. They had been as high as 3rd place after Stage 3, but suffered a turbo failure on their newly acquired Escort Cosworth on Stage 7.

The battle for the lead was now contested by McGinnigle/Astbury and Trevor Yoxall/Dave Ellis, who were debuting their Sierra Cosworth. McGinnigle/Astbury held on for two stages, but then Yoxall/Ellis pulled away to lead by 11 seconds after Stage 9. Unfortunately, they retired on the penultimate stage when a strut broke.

Bob Morgan/Dave Saunders had been just behind the lead battle when they retired after the rear differential failed on the Escort Cosworth.

The fight of the win was therefore left to be contested by McGinnigle/Astbury and Phil Squires/Michael Squires (Ford Escort RS). The former prevailed, coming home 20 seconds ahead of the Squires, who had lost time earlier in the day after picking up a puncture.

Gary Tomlinson/Richard Wilson (Sierra Cosworth), who had been inside the top six throughout the day, came home to take third place, 1m 27s behind the winners.

The Chevette of Geraint Mills/Jonny 'Tad' Evans moved up from 6th after SS9 to 4th place at the Finish, this despite a spectacular moment at the water splash on the final stage, when the driver got the approach line wrong.

Finishing in fifth place Tim Freeman/Daryl Savage won the up to 2-litre class in the Escort RS, 15 seconds ahead of the similar car of Rob Dennis/Andrew Brewer, who had dropped a few places in the last loop of stages.

Steve Hetherington/Tom Last (Vauxhall Nova) were clear winners of the 1400-1600cc class, while Martin Sansom/Phil Wells (Nissan Micra) were just four seconds behind to take the small car class win.


Pos Driver Navigator Car Penalty
1 Derek McGinnigle Rupert Astbury Ford Sierra 4x4 54m 14s
2 Phil Squires Michael Squires Ford Escort RS 54m 34s
3 Gary Tomlinson Richard Wilson Ford Sierra Cosworth 55m 41s
4 Geraint Mills Jonny 'Tad' Evans Vauxhall Chevette 55m 58s
5 Tim Freeman Daryl Savage Ford Escort RS 56m 19s
6 Rob Dennis Andrew Brewer Ford Escort RS 56m 34s
7 Gary Kenny Andy Kenny Mitsubishi Lancer 56m 48s
8 Mark Rowlands Gary Carless Ford Escort RWD 57m 51s
9 Ian Fryer Mike Kiff Ford Escort 57m 59s
10 Jeff Wincott Davy Jones Ford Escort 58m 05s
11 Mike Davies Mike Wilding Ford Escort RS 58m 50s
12 Mick Gilman Jason Dolman Ford Sierra 4x4 58m 55s
13 Steve Hetherington Tom Last Vauxhall Nova 59m 00s
14 Martin Sansom Phil Wells Nissan Micra 59m 04s
15 Dennis Rowlands Peter Swan Ford Escort 59m 12s
16 Richard Lewis Keith Davies Peugeot 205 GTi 59m 15s
17 Steve Joel Glenn Fothergill Ford Escort 59m 28s
18 Steven Bayley Clair Renn Talbot Sunbeam 59m 42s
19 Andrew Morris Derek Davies Peugeot 205 60m 17s
20 Tony Lynch Jacquelin Dawes Vauxhall Nova 60m 25s
21 Bernie Harrison John Rees Peugeot 205 GTi 60m 28s
22 Alisteir Baxendale Daniel Knight Toyota Corolla 60m 29s
23 Darren Snape Anthony Adams Talbot Sunbeam Ti 60m 24s
24 Paul Jackson Neil Selley Ford Escort RS 60m 44s
25 Colin Minton Andy Ballantyne Ford Escort Cosworth 61m 00s
26 Kevin Mecherry Collette Le Page Ford Escort 61m 16s
27 Paul Miller Helen Davies Ford Escort RS 61m 27s
28 Graham Evans Ian Mills Toyota Corolla 61m 38s
29 Bill Dawes Daniel Stephenson Ford Escort 62m 20s
30 Des Penny Gary Marriott Mazda 323 Turbo 62m 20s
31 Paul Hostin Rebecca Higgins Opel Kadett 62m 33s
32 Ellya Gold Ian Harden Peugeot 309 GTi 62m 43s
33 Chris Gittins Gareth Hockley Ford Escort 63m 12s
34 Martin Jones Glen Breward Vauxhall Nova 63m 13s
35 John Woodward Martin Petitt Ford Escort G3 63m 27s
36 Richard Naylor Tim Consolante Ford Escort 63m 52s
37 Steve Hiser Alan Bouch Vauxhall Astra 64m 08s
38 David Jones Amanda Williams Peugeot 309 GTi 64m 11s
39 Martin Kenny Mike Titterton Ford Escort 64m 34s
40 Pete Roughan Pete Norris Ford Escort 65m 12s
41 Lee Smith Kevin Skellern Talbot Sunbeam 66m 28s
42 Dave Lane Nev Blackburn Ford Sierra XR4x4 66m 29s
43 Anthony Hutchings Steve Quine VW Golf 68m 03s
44 David Skinner Brian Roseblade Talbot Samba 70m 38s
45 Ian Torkington Colin Hutchings Vauxhall Cavalier 71m 29s
46 Toby Gerrard Peter Slater Ford Escort 17m 48s
47 Alan Forteath Chros O'Meara Ford Escort 72m 55s