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Witch Way Road Rally 2003

Pendle & District Motor Club

10th/11th May 2003

Clerk of the Course: Stephen Bye

Route: 125 Miles

Maps: 97 98 & 103

Starters: 48

Winners: Brynli Thomas/Steve Herbert (Peugeot 205 GTi)

Brynli Thomas/Steve Herbert pulled off an unexpected, but well deserved, win on Pendle and District MC’s Witch Way Road Rally. The Welsh pairing, on their first visit to Cumbria, were the only crew to clean the second of the event’s three sections. They came home ninety seconds ahead of the opposition. The win meant that the pair moved into the lead of the North Western Championship.

The 125 miles of competition was split into three sections. The event opened with a 58 mile long standard section which had 13 TCs, one, near Killington, was timed to the second. The middle third was a regulaity. It ran through the Barbon Pass via Dentdale and Deepdale to Ingleton. There was then a loop around Wray. The final standard section was timed to the minute and moved south around Bentham and over Lythe Fell to Slaidburn.

The Witch Way was a round of the West Midlands, SD34, North Western and Northern Championships. There were 48 starters, of whom 36 made the finish.

The 2002 winners Chris Day/Ric Chalmers were fastest over the first timed to the second section, but then rolled their Mini into retirement soon afterwards. The crash occured on a not as map 90 Right-90 Left set of corners (97/892 565). The pair got going again, but the windscreen was missing. The cold blast and stinging rain led them to withdraw. Simon Tate/Richard Wilson went off at the same spot. They managed to make the Finish in 27th position.

The Mini's demise left Carl Hawkins/Iain Tullie with a ten second lead, however Thomas/Herbert scorched past on the long regularity section to move in front and secure the win.

Two former stage rally drivers, who were making a return to road rallying, put in impressive performances. Pete Tyson/Neil Harrison brought their Cooper S into third, despite putting the car into a ditch near the end. Meanwhile Steve Head/Andy Dugdale (Suzuki Swift) lost out on second place when they missed a code board on the final section, this indiscretion dropped them to fifth.

The nature of the roads semed to be the cause of a greater than usual number of instances of navigator sickness. Jon Lawson/Chris Pringle (Subaru Legacy) finished fourth despite seveal stops forced by illness, while Chris Brownlow/Mike Wise (Subaru Impreza) retired due to the driver being unwell.

The leading Semi-Expert crew were Rob Chalmers/Chris Bebington, who brought their Peugeot 309 into 19th place overall. Darren Leeson/Ian Hewlett were the leading Novices in 23rd place.

Sandie Taylor/Paul Taylor (Peugeot 205 GTi) missed a code board and then got a wrong approach at a triangle control. They finished in 15th place. G&P Memorial winners Terry Martin/Simon Bentley, in another 205, had to stop in a timed to the second section to change a clutch cable. They eventually completed the route in 18th position.

Twentieth place was the result for Bernard Watkins/Adam Roper (Vauxhall Cavalier), who had had to stop twice to change punctures during the night. Shane Swindells/Simon Cottrell retired on the first section after the engine blew on their Peugeot 205.


Pos Driver Navigator Car Penalty
1 Brynli Thomas Steve Herbert Peugeot 205 GTi 1m 21s
2 Carl Hawkins Iain Tullie Vauxhall Nova 3m 09s
3 Pete Tyson Neil Harrison Mini Cooper S 6m 11s
4 Jon Lawson Chris Pringle Subaru Legacy 7m 31s
5 Steve Head Andy Dugdale Suzuki Swift 8m 05s
6 Michael Pedley David Pedley Ford Escort 8m 14s
7 Steve Webster Lee Burgess Subaru Impreza 9m 10s
8 Dave Jones Paul Holmberg Vauxhall Astra 12m 48s
9 Steve Featherstone Richard Pullen Ford Sierra 13m 53s
10 Malcolm Grisdale Bob Hargreaves Subaru Coupe 14m 27s
11 Iain Scott Jez Harris Peugeot 309 GTi 15m 47s
12 Simon Daly Mike Ogram Vauxhall Astra 18m 31s
13 Chris Leach Joylon Robinson Peugeot 205 GTi 21m 01s
14 Stew Dale James Savage Ford Sierra 21m 03s
15 Sandie Taylor Paul Taylor Peugeot 205 GTi 22m 04s
16 Steven Price Cyril Jones Toyota Corolla 22m 07s
17 Dan Robinson Ian Gibbins Peugeot 205 GTi 22m 55s
18 Terry Martin Simon Bentley Peugeot 205 GTi 31m 22s
19 Rob Chalmers Chris Bebbington Peugeot 309 GTi 42m 38s
20 Bernard Watkins Adam Roper Vauxhall Cavalier 42m 58s
21 David Tubman John Tubman Peugeot 205 GTi 42m 57s
22 Andy Beaumont Mike Petch Proton Satria 43m 17s
23 Darren Leeson Ian Hewlett Ford Escort 49m 58s
24 Myles Gleave James Chaplin Peugeot 205 51m 55s
25 Kevin Hutchinson Mike Angove Vauxhall Astra 52m 42s
26 David Howell Stephen Taylor Opel Manta 55m 27s
27 Simon Tate Richard Wilson Opel Manta 1h 06m 01s
28 Michael Taylor Philip Meak Vauxhall Astra GSi 1h 06m 06s
29 Ian Williams Paul Price Vauxhall Astra GSi 1h 20m 13s
30 Frank Evans Dan Spittlehouse Toyota Corolla 1h 20m 34s
31 Phil Mathews Paul van Veen Peugeot 309 1h 28m 23s
32 John Morris Vicki Price Peugeot 309 1F 53m 13s
33 Tony Watkin Medwyn Evans Vauxhall Nova 1F 1h 53m 47s
34 Sarah Clarke Chris Melling Vauxhall Astra GSi 2F 1h 23m 34s
35 Mark Casey Glyn Casey Vauxhall Nova 6F 3h 23m 06s
36 Paul Blanchard Andrea Robson Vauxhall Astra 9F 2h 41m 48s