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Sweet Lamb Stages 2000

Ecurie Royal Oak Motor Club

17th September 2000

Clerk of the Course: Mike Rushton

Stages: 12 (49.6 Stage Miles)

Venue: Sweet Lamb & Tarenig

Starters: 60

Winners: Philip Squires/Michael Squires (Ford Escort)

Phil Squires/Michael Squires made it two wins in two years on the Sweet Lamb Stages, bringing their Mark 2 Escort home in front of more advanced but fragile machinery.

Sweet Lamb Stages 2000

The Ecurie Royal Oak MC event had been delayed by a week due to the fuel crisis; the crisis having been caused by protestors blocking access to oil terminals.

The event provided competitors with 49.6 stage miles. It was split into three sections with four stages in each, two of which were in Tarenig Forest.

The Squires brothers set a blistering place from the start, leading the field by 33 seconds at the first service halt. Their main challenge was to come from the Subaru Impreza of Simon Redhead/Alan Thomas. Redhead, however, was only in fourth after Stage Four, a boost pipe had broken and the Impreza had lost turbo pressure. A charge on the next four stages saw Redhead take 30 seconds off Squires' lead and by the time they lined up for the last stage the difference was down to four seconds. Unfortunately for Redhead, the Impreza's turbo blew half a mile from the end of the stage and they were forced to accept second place, seven seconds down.

Gary Holmes/Jonathan Adams had to make an earlier than planned debut in their ex-Tim Ellis Escort Cosworth, their regular Sapphire having broken its engine the day before the rally. Despite minimal preparation, the car functioned without problems and Holmes came home third.

Jeff Wincott/Nigel Bailey would have been fourth but a turbo problem on Stage Ten cost them 30 seconds and they dropped to fifth.

There was a tight three way battle for the top spot in the Under 2000cc Class, those involved were the Escorts of Tim Freeman/Daryl Salvage and Brian Dunlop/Sammy Hamilton plus the Sunbeam of Darren Edwards/Richard Morgan. After the second section Freeman emerged as the leader and maintained the advantage to take fourth overall at the end; Dunlop was 25 seconds and two places behind. Edwards was hampered by punctures which used up his best tyres, but maintained a pace that secured eighth overall at the Finish.

Ex-Off Road Champion Tim Dilworth, guided by top co-driver Shaun O'Gorman, was making his rallying debut in a Peugeot 205; he put in an impressive performance coming home in ninth.

The Under 1600cc Class was dominated by the ex-Steve Hetherington Nova of Keith Parry/Martin Quant, they lead the class all day despite a broken rear brake disk on the penultimate stage.

The small engine class fell to the Escort of William Dawes/Daniel Stephenson, they made a slow start but overhauled the Nova of Chris Greenhall/Matthew Whattam and were over two minutes clear at the end. Despite an almost total lack of brakes Jamie Burton/Dave Dewson had led the class after four stages, but on Stage Five the gearbox, suffering from having to be used to slow the car down, failed.

A number of fancied runners were also on the retirement list. Wynne Pickersgill/Dylan Jones (broken drive shaft) and Andrew Pile/Pay Snow (broken propshaft) both failed to make it to the end of Stage One. The first run through Tarenig - Stage 4 - saw the demise of Gary Tomlinson/Richard Wilson (Sierra Cosworth), Richard Edwards/Di Brookfield (Vauxhall Astra) and Ian McQuillan/Ian Capewell (Sierra Cosworth), who all crashed out.

Steve Southall/Dave Southall were holding third place overall after four stages, but were forced out after an incident at the stage split for Stage Seven. The Sierra of Neil Andrew/Mark Spavin had overshot the split and they were reversing back to the correct route when Southall appeared, the Escort driver had to go off the road in avoidance. Southall's car sheared off a wheel and Andrew was excluded for his part in the incident.


Pos Driver Navigator Car Penalty
1 Phil Squires Michael Squires Ford Escort RS 57m 20s
2 Simon Redhead Alan Thomas Subaru Impreza 57m 27s
3 Garry Holmes Andrew Yoxall Ford Escort Cosworth 57m 53s
4 Tim Freeman Daryl Salvage Ford Escort 59m 38s
5 Jeff Wincott Nigel Bailey Ford Sapphire Cosworth 59m 50s
6 Brian Dunlop Sammy Hamilton Ford Escort 60m 03s
7 Martin Lowe Stuart Wood Ford Escort 60m 13s
8 Darren Edwards Richard Morgan Talbot Sunbeam 60m 20s
9 Tim Dilworth Shaun O'Gorman Peugeot 205 GTi 61m 33s
10 Rob Archer Peter Field Ford Escort 61m 52s
11 Martin Kenny Steve Quine Ford Escort 61m 59s
12 Richard Hinton Adrian Seabridge Ford Escort Cosworth 62m 12s
13 Keith Parry Martin Quant Vauxhall Nova 62m 24s
14 Esmond Haslett Kevin Kreighan Ford Escort RS 62m 30s
15 James Gloster Allan Cathers Peugeot 106 GTi 62m 46s
16 Malcolm Hague Dave Read Ford Escort 63m 49s
17 Iwan Evans Stuart Lampkin Toyota Corolla GTi 64m 17s
18 William Dawes Daniel Stephenson Ford Escort 65m 03s
19 Chris Gittins Stuart Humphreys Ford Escort 65m 32s
20 Andrew Davies Ieuan Thomas Ford Escort 65m 36s
21 Mark Fear Chris Henley Ford Escort 65m 58s
22 Angus Lyon Ian Stokes Opel Manta 66m 10s
23 Richard Naylor Kevin Watt Ford Escort 66m 12s
24 Mark Jenkinson Tony Rowt Ford Escort 67m 33s
25 Chris Greenall Matthew Whattam Vauxhall Nova 67m 38s
26 Tim Arkinstall Andrew Cookson Honda Civic 67m 47s
27 Anthony Harrison David Harrison Ford Escort 68m 21s
28 Richard Morgan Peter Morgan Vauxhall Astra 68m 42s
29 Phil Kendall John Thomas Vauxhall Nova GTE 71m 00s
30 Martin George Terry Yemm Skoda Favorit 71m 18s
31 Martin Payne Hazel Payne Vauxhall Astra 73m 32s
32 Justin Warburton Jonathan Nock Ford Escort XR3 82m 49s
33 Gwilym Roberts Bill Robertson Ford Escort RWD 85m 37s
34 James Graham Ian Graham Saab 96 88m 41s