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Sweet Lamb Stages 1999

Ecurie Royal Oak Motor Club

18th-19th September 1999

Clerk of the Course: Mike Rushton

Stages: 11 (67 Stage Miles)

Venue: Sweet Lamb

Starters: 50

Winners: Philip Squires/Michael Squires (Ford Escort)

The record books will show that Phillip Squires/Michael Squires took a comfortable victory on Ecurie Royal Oak MC's Sweet Lamb Stages, coming home three and half minutes ahead of the field. However this does not give a true reflection of the event. In fact it was a titantic battle between the Squires' RS2000 and the Sierra Cosworth of Garry Holmes/Andy Yoxall.

Sweet Lamb Stages 1999

Holmes opened up a 20 second lead over the first two stages held on Saturday afternoon, but Squires started to fight back on the Sunday morning stages. With only three tests to go Squires trailed Holmes by just two seconds, unfortunately it was at this point that the turbo on the Sierra failed and Holmes was left to struggle through to the end dropping to fifth place in the process.

Ecurie Royal Oak had extended their popular event this year to start with two stages on Saturday afternoon, this allowed them to include one stage of almost twelve miles. This overture was followed on Sunday by three circuits of the Sweet Lamb Complex, each consisting of three stages, with a service halt between each circuit.

For a number crews it was still to be a one day event as they failed to make it to the end of Stage Two. Paul McCullan/Jane Cowling didn't even make it to the start of Stage One when their Corsa suddenly lost all power; a fault finally traced to a loose wire on the cut out switch.

John Ward/Stuart Middleton (Ford Escort) were excluded after going the wrong way at the stage split, while the Escorts of Esmond Haslett/Brian Dunlop and Rich Newman/Chris Allsopp both suffered front suspension failures after clipping rocks

Both Darren Snape/Anthony Adams (Talbot Sunbeam) and Chris Welsh/Alan Carley (Mazda) became victims of the notorious 60 left at the top of Esgair Y Maen as they crashed out of the event. Gareth Hockley/Darren Edwards (Vauxhall Nova) suffered the same fate at the same spot on Sunday.

Squires and Holmes dominated the event; between them they captured all of the fastest times on the rally's eleven stages. After Holmes' problems the runner spot was take by the Subaru of Des Penny/Gary Marriott. They'd gone well on the Sunday run after suffering from a severe misfire in the torrential rain on Saturday.

Chris Earls/Iain Scott were third to make it two Mark II Escorts in the top three. The Sierra of Jeff Wincott/Dave Jones was fourth; they lost second place after picking up a one minute road penalty. A disconsulate Holmes took fifth, while Trevor Yoxall/Julie Kelly (Opel Manta) won Class 3 and sixth overall.

Simon Hetherington had already secured the Evans Windows Welsh Clubman's Championship, but underlined his speed by taking the Class 2 win despite losing a minute on Stage Seven when the distributor filled with water. This result also improved Hetherington's chances of adding the North Western title to the Welsh.

Hetherington's partner Tom Last was almost assured of the Welsh Co-driver's title and could only be denied if Shaun O'Gorman took a class win on the Championship's last round, the Meirion

Colin Bound/Gary Moult took Class 1 in their Nissan Micra. Bound could have challenged Hetherington for the Welsh title, having taken the class win on every round, however, on a number of events there had been fewer than four entered in the class and therefore full points had not been awarded.


Pos Driver Navigator Car Penalty
1 Phil Squires Michael Squires Ford Escort RS 62m 16s
2 Des Penny Gary Marriott Subaru Impreza WRX 65m 43s
3 Chris Earls Ian Scott Ford Escort 66m 00s
4 Jeff Wincott Dave Jones Ford Sierra Sapphire 4x4 66m 09s
5 Garry Holmes Andrew Yoxall Ford Sierra Cosworth 4x4 66m 13s
6 Trevor Yoxall Julie Kelly Opel Manta RS 66m 52s
7 Martin Kenny Steve Quine Ford Escort 67m 32s
8 Steve Hetherington Tom Last Vauxhall Nova 67m 50s
9 Gary Tomlinson Richard Wilson Ford Sierra Cosworth 68m 19s
10 Lee Smith Sarah Robinson Talbot Sunbeam 68m 33s
11 Paul Jackson Sean Dale Ford Escort RS 68m 41s
12 Nigel Trotter Andy Brunt Ford Sierra Sapphire Cosworth 68m 51s
13 Kevin Mechem Colette Le Page Ford Escort 68m 54s
14 Arwyn Williams Sue Mee Ford Escort Cosworth 69m 07s
15 Robert Williams Kelvin Savage Vauxhall Corsa 69m 29s
16 Colin Bound Gary Moult Nissan Micra 69m 57s
17 Sean Edwards Helene Mars Ford Escort 71m 04s
18 Alistair Baxendale Clair Renn Toyota Corolla 71m 07s
19 Adrian Skinner Mark Hollesworth Vauxhall Nova 71m 26s
20 Bill Dawes Daniel Stephenson Ford Escort 71m 27s
21 Richard Perry Clive Townend Peugeot 205 GTi 71m 53s
22 Toby Gerrard Peter Slater Ford Escort 73m 23s
23 Alan Fortreath Dom Foister Ford Escort 74m 45s
24 Mark Burrows Geoff Fletcher Ford Escort RS 79m 44s
25 Andy Kibble Martyn Duncan Vauxhall Astra 83m 00s
26 Tim Arkinstall Andrew Cookson Vauxhall Corsa 83m 48s
27 TJ Wilkins Bob Rose Nissan Micra 102m 56s