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Witch Way Road Rally 2002

Pendle & District Motor Club

27th/28th April 2002

Clerk of the Course: Neil Bye

Route: 175 Miles

Maps: 97 98 & 103

Starters: 36

Winners: Christopher Day/Richard Chalmers (Rover Mini)

It was second time lucky for the Semi-Expert crew Christopher Day/Richard Chalmers as they took a narrow victory on Pendle DMC's Witch Way Rally. They had missed out on a podium finish on the 2001 event after picking up two fails on the last time card. In 2002 they kept on the pace to bring their Mini Cooper home just over a minute ahead of Ryemoor Trophy winners Jon Lawson/Chris Pringle in their Legacy.

Witch Way Road Rally 2002
Winners: Christopher Day/Richard Chalmers (Rover Mini)
Photograph: M&H Photography

Thirty six crews tackled the event, which counted for the Northern, North Western, West Midlands, Cumbria and SD34 championships. Having moved away from January in the hope of better weather conditions, all the April showers seemed to come at once as standing water and often torrential rain made it tough going for the drivers and very unpleasant for the marshals.

In the absence of the 2001 winner Paul Holmberg, who was chasing Welsh championship points on the Night Owl, Carl Hawkins/Iain Tullie led the field away from Gargrave into what was effectively a pre-plot regularity section. This took crews north up the classic Kingsdale and Deepdale roads before heading West to Sedbergh and then south down the Lune Valley to first petrol at Kirkby Lonsdale.

Day/Chalmers, on their home patch, set the pace right from the start, ending the regularity on 5m 32s. Michael Pedley/David Pedley (Ford Escort) were second on 7m 08s, with Lawson/Pringle on 8m 10s. Hawkins/Tullie lost nine minutes when an alternator lead broke halfway through the regularity, forcing them to complete the section from Barbon Manor to Devil's Bridge by torch light. They limped into petrol to repair the problem.

The second and third cards took crews back to the north east of Kendall for two sets of plot and bash standards sections, timed to the minute, before returning back south to a second petrol halt. These were a real challenge for the navigators as the twisty, hilly Cumbria lanes made plotting on the move difficult and there were many reports of mal de nav.

Lawson/Pringle overcame their two emergency illness stops to drop just two minutes on this loop, taking them to within 40 seconds of Day/Chalmers. Some six minutes further back were Malcolm Grisdale/Bob Hargreaves in a Subaru Coupe, another four minutes separating them from Phil Wright/Paul Bosdet in a Golf. The similar car of Eden Valley pairing Nigel Bowers/Richard Todd dropped out of fourth place with a fail at TC26.

Four crews were caught out with WD's at TC15, this ended the Pedley's challenge, while punctures forced the retirement of Simon Cottrell's Subaru and ANCC championship leaders Sandie Taylor/Paul Taylor (Peugeot 205).

The final card took crews south east to the lanes around Ingleton and Clapham Station, before one final section timed to the second in Tosside. Day/Chalmers sealed their win on this section, pulling out nearly 30 seconds on Lawson/Pringle who remained a comfortable second, some nine minutes up on Grisdale/Hargreaves. Hawkins/Tullie edged past Wright/Bosdet to take fourth, a further three minutes adrift. A storming run on the last card brought Chris Astley/Paul Coombes (Ford Escort)to within three seconds of fith position.

Clitheroe crew Andy Proctor/Jason Crook took the semi-expert award, as Day/Chalmers had collected overall honours, while Shane Swindells/Stew Dale were the first of the five novice crews who made the finish, their winning margin was just over thirteen minutes.


Pos Driver Navigator Car Penalty
1 Christopher Day Ric Chalmers Rover Mini 10m 40s
2 Jon Lawson Chris Pringle Subaru Legacy 11m 56s
3 Malcolm Grisdale Bob Hargreaves Subaru Coupe 21m 04s
4 Carl Hawkins Iain Tullie Vauxhall Nova 24m 02s
5 Phil Wright Paul Bosdet VW Golf GTi 25m 03s
6 Chris Astley Paul Coombes Ford Escort 25m 06s
7 Dave Jones Baz Green Vauxhall Astra 26m 53s
8 Ian Knowles Neil Harrison Ford Escort 31m 23s
9 Chris Leach Jolyon Robinson Peugeot 205 GTi 31m 23s
10 Iain Scott Jez Harris Toyota Corolla 38m 23s
11 Gavin Smith Michael Ogram Peugeot 205 GTi 45m 50s
12 Terry Martin Simon Bentley Peugeot 205 GTi 46m 27s
13 Bernard Watkins Adam Roper Vauxhall Cavalier 48m 37s
14 Andy Proctor Jason Crook Vauxhall Astra 57m 03s
15 Andy Whittaker Charlie Tynan Peugeot 205 GTi 1h 11m 59s
16 Shane Swindells Stew Dale Peugeot 205 GTi 1h 35m 38s
17 Damien Whittle Stuart Evans Peugeot 205 GTi 2h 44m 59s
18 Nigel Bower Richard Todd VW Golf GTi 1F 31m 02s
19 Mark Whitford Steve Porter Toyota Corolla 1F 33m 18s
20 Bill Chadwick Alan Edwards Ford Sierra 2F 59m 43s
21 Tony Watkin Medwyn Evans Vauxhall Nova 2F 1h 47m 59s
22 Paul Whitelock James Carlin Renault Clio 2F 2h 14m 59s
23 Simon Daly Sarah Whitham VW Golf 5F 2h 39m 48s
24 Phil Harvey Andrew Porter Ford Escort 6F 1h 48m 42s