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West Midland Showground Stages 2001

Telford Auto Club

29th December 2001

Clerk of the Course: Maurice Leach

Stages: 12 (35 Stage Miles)

Venue: West Midland Showground

Starters: 47

Winners: Dave Willett/John Roberts (Ford Escort)

Telford AC ran their third rally of the year at the West Midland Showground at Shrewsbury, the first time the venue had seen competitive rallying. The event offered 12 stages giving a total of 35 stage miles, 70% on tarmac. Forty-seven crews took the start.

West Midland Showground Stages 2001
Winners: Dave Willett/John Roberts (Ford Escort)

Dave Willett/John Roberts emerged as winners in their Astra engined Escort. Having started cautiously - only being seventh fastest on the first stage - Willett upped his speed as the day progressed and the greasy tarmac surface dried out. He took seven stage wins on his way to victory. Even a loose exhaust manifold on the last stage didn't prevent him taking fastest time.

The early leaders of the event had been Simon Jukes/John Caine who had taken their nimble motorcycle engined Darrian into a 25 seconds lead after five stages. Unfortunately an afternoon showdown with Willett was prevented when the front left upright on the Darrian broke on Stage Six. Jukes lost two and a half minutes in the incident. However the damage was repaired and he recovered to take sixth overall and the U1300 award at the Finish.

Second in the U1300 class went to the Anglia of Neil Weaver/James Bailey, who were ninth overall.

Oliver Davies/Ben Davies were another crew to hit problems on SS6 when they damaged the rear axle, pulling all four links out from the floor of their 2.4 Millington engined Escort. With the help of constant welding at every subsequent service halt they survived to take second place, ninety seconds down on Willet.

West Midland Showground Stages 2001
Runners Up: Oliver Davies/Ben Davies (Ford Escort)

Three highly experienced crews battled for third place for the whole day; Keith Wilde/John Howells (Escort), Eric Weaver/Andrew Sankey (Darrian T9) and Roger Moran/Tony Beddoes (Escort) eventually finished in that order. Weaver/Sankey were top seeds and as first car on the road had the dubious pleasure of opening up the chicanes for later comeptitors to straightline. The Darrian also suffered a bent steering arm after hitting rocks on SS5, the tracking having to be wound up to account for the distortion.

A number of crews retired while in top positions. Richard Preece/Sarah Gluyas were lying fifth when a CV Joint broke on their Astra on SS5. Dave Allmark/John Tate looked on course for a top four finish when the gearbox failed on their Escort on SS10. Martin Parkinson/Hayley Chadwick were in sixth place at the halfway point but the dry sump seized on their Escort as they attempted to leave the service area to start SS7. Andrew Morris/Neil Allman only got as far as SS2 before the gearbox broke on the ex-works Nissan Sunny.

Peter O'Dougherty/Mike Storrar retired their Escort with a broken axle after SS6, while Brandon Smith/Steve Herbert were holding third in class when they broken a stub axle on the 1300 Lada engined Davrian on SS4.

Damian Cole contested the rally as a prize for his co-driver Katy Price. After a steady run, in conditions slightly rough in places for his Darrian and with the wrong tyres for the conditions, the reigning Welsh Tarmac Champion came home in twelfth place.

Jeremy Maddox/Nicola Hartshorn took the U1600 award in their Vauxhall Nova, less than thirty seconds ahead of the similar car of Martin Roberts/Darren Green. The Road Rally class was led from SS2 by the VW Golf of Adrian Higman/Dan Coxhead. They survived a scare when the rotor arm broke, causing a misfire, which cost them 40 seconds on SS5. Second in the class secured Neal Arden/Giles Corbett the Telford AC 2001 Rally Championship.


Pos Driver Navigator Car Penalty
1 Dave Willett John Roberts Ford Escort 62m 54s
2 Oliver Davies Ben Davies Ford Escort 64m 21s
3 Keith Wilde John Howells Ford Escort 64m 40s
4 Eric Weaver Andrew Sankey Darrian T9 65m 11s
5 Roger Moran Tony Beddoes Ford Escort 65m 33s
6 Simon Jukes John Caine Darrian T9 65m 55s
7 Trevor Ridge Simon Ridge Ford Escort 65m 59s
8 Jeremy Maddox Nicola Hartshorn Vauxhall Nova 66m 07s
9 Neil Weaver James Bailey Ford Anglia RS 105E 66m 14s
10 Martin Roberts Darren Green Vauxhall Nova GSi 66m 36s
11 Richard Perry Clive Townend Talbot Sunbeam 66m 43s
12 Damian Cole Katy Price Darrian T9 67m 07s
13 Paul Walker Ian Walker Ford Escort 67m 36s
14 Andrew Clayworth Chris Jones Ford Escort 67m 37s
15 Paul Pritchard Vernon Brown Ford Escort 67m 40s
16 Adrian Higman Dan Coxhead VW Golf 67m 54s
17 Chris Powis Paul Downes Vauxhall Nova 68m 12s
18 Tim Baker Andrew Smallman Talbot Sunbeam 68m 25s
19 Neal Arden Giles Corbett Ford Escort 68m 31s
20 Carl Thomas Chris Ridge Ford Escort 68m 35s
21 Chris Painter John Painter Austin Mini 69m 10s
22 Alan Watkins Tim Bloxham Ford Escort 69m 20s
23 Richard Roe Paul Edwards Talbot Sunbeam 69m 36s
24 Paul Williams Chris Kelly Peugeot 205 GTi 70m 31s
25 Anthony Gluyas Tim Gluyas Ford Escort 70m 38s
26 Sam Pownall Phil Swanborough Vauxhall Nova 70m 53s
27 Paul Atkins Philip Atkins Ford Escort 72m 14s
28 Simon Atkinson Ben Nixon Hillman Avenger 74m 15s
29 Jon Ross Martin Kenny Peugeot 205 GTi 74m 50s
30 Chris Mills Dennis Rowlands Vauxhall Astra GTE 75m 00s
31 Paul Morgan Roger Morgan Toyota Corolla 76m 46s
32 Pete Hamer Niki Griffiths Talbot Sunbeam 77m 30s
33 Dominic Giovinazzo Antonio Giovinazzo Audi 80 78m 37s
34 Gigi Bettencourt-Gomes TBA Vauxhall Nova 78m 56s
35 John Sale TBA Peugeot 205 GTi 79m 52s