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Matt Ritson Memorial Westmorland Rally 2002

Sponsored by RMT Slating & Tiling

Eden Valley Motor Club

20th/21st July 2002

Clerk of the Course: Richard Rigg

Route: 140 Miles

Maps: 90 & 91

Starters: 29

Winners: Paul Schatz/Jerry Hettrick (Citroen AX)

Eden Valley MC's Westmorland Rally has gained a popular following in the North for being an enjoyable but demanding navigational rally. Once again for 2002 the rally retained its 100% plot 'n bash format and used the lanes of North Cumbria. Due to the severe impact that 2001 foot and mouth epidemic had on the area, the organisers made only minimal use of whites for the 2002 event.

Matt Ritson Memorial Westmorland Rally 2002

Sponsorship for the event came from RMT Slating and Tiling of Wigton. The event was dedicated to the memory of Matt Ritson, a founder member of Eden Valley MC.

The rally was won by Paul Schatz/Jerry Hettrick in their Citroen AX, it was the third time in succession that this crew had triumphed on the Westmorland, having previously been winners in 1999 and 2000. Hettrick said "This was only our second event this year and the other was a disaster, so a top ten would have been nice! However, it was one of those nights when things just seem to fall into place".

Gavin Smith/Mike Ogram, in their Peugeot 205, finished in second place, two minutes behind the winners. The result was enough to push them to the head of the ANCC Championship Table, their nearest series challengers were now Sandie Taylor/Paul Taylor who finished in tenth place on the Westmorland. Iain Tullie, who had led the naviagtor's table prior to the Eden Valley event, was absent contesting the Drystone.

Third place went to the Toyota Corolla of Malcolm Holdsworth/Richard Holdsworth, while fourth was taken by the VW Golf of Nigel Bowers/Richard Todd, the navigator being the event sponsor.

Two crews missed out on top placed finishes after making errors. Les Percival/Simon Bentley had been on course for second place when they missed the very last route check, the resulting fail pushed them well down the order. Meanwhile Peter Gorst/Derek Bateson would have had a top five finish but for a wrong approach at MTC2, which was being marshalled by the Clerk of the Course.

Matt Ritson Memorial Westmorland Rally 2002
Runners Up: Gavin Smith/Mike Ogram (Peugeot 205 GTi)
Photograph: M&H Photography

The Semi-Expert class was won by the Opel Manta of David Howell/Stephen Taylor who were thirteenth overall, four places in front of second in class Paul Whitelock/Jake Carling (Renault Clio). Novice crews were given simpler navigation and therefore weren't eligible for overall awards, the winners in this category were Johnny Brass/Tom Wilcox in a Nissan Sunny.

There were 29 starters and all but three made it to the Finish, amongst the retirees were Clive Sissons/Kevin savage in their Subaru Impreza. Jon Lawson/Chris Pringle were amongst the non-starters.


Pos Driver Navigator Car Penalty
1 Paul Schatz Jerry Hettrick Citroen ZX 2m 24s
2 Gavin Smith Mike Ogram Peugeot 205 GTi 4m 15s
3 Malcolm Holdsworth Richard Holdsworth Toyota Corolla 4m 35s
4 Nigel Bowers Richard Todd VW Golf GTi 5m 45s
5 Stephen Coombes Paul Coombes Peugeot 309 6m 07s
6 Malcolm Grisdale Bob Hargreaves Subaru RX Coupe 7m 30s
7 David Chapman David Taylor Peugeot 205 9m 02s
8 Ian Knowles Neil Harrison Ford Escort 9m 02s
9 Andy Proctor Jason Crook Vauxhall Astra 12m 57s
10 Sandie Taylor Paul Taylor Peugeot 205 GTi 14m 47s
Semi-Experts Class
1 David Howell Stephen Taylor Opel Manta 29m 27s
2 Paul Whitelock Jake Carling Renault Clio 35m 33s
Novice Class
1 Johnny Brass Tom Wilcox Nissan Sunny 12m 22s
2 Marcus Noble Brian Hodgson Ford Sierra 13m 31s