Last Sunday saw the annual Greystoke Stages Rally, ably organised by West Cumbria Motorsport Club, and sponsored by Legend Fires, Blackburn.
Many top forest crews were entered, including Yorkshire’s Steve Bannister - his Escort always driven flamboyantly had Callum Atkinson co-driving and they were seeded at number three.
Local interest was via Phil Burton (Bare) in his award-winning Millington-engined, Westgate Tyres/BDS Biofuels/Jones Plumbing-supported Escort Mk2.
However, his co-driver was Mark Twiname, who is usually sat alongside Heyshams’ Mike Wolff in the BMW – Mike was away for this rally and asked if Burton would take Twiname in an attempt to score extra points in the championship. The duo were seeded at six.
Mal Capstick, Phil’s regular co-driver, was partnering Bob ‘Fritz’ Green in Bob’s Escort 2ltr, seeded st 36.
At number 40 was event sponsor John Stone, driving the Legend Fires Cube Fiesta RS2 , Patrick Brides sitting in the ‘silly seat’.
Morecambe Car Club’s John Livermore was seeded at 50 in his Lune Valley Autos/DJT Design Chrysler Avenger.
The rally comprised six special stages, all within the Greystoke complex.
The Burton/Twiname Escort had a steady run through SS1 – it being several months since Phil had been competing – also the engine had been away for a rebuild.
The car had throttle issues prior to the start, but this was resolved. SS2 saw the car suffer a puncture, however the crew still managed to post a time 11 seconds faster which was one second up on Bannister in his Escort.
The deficit remained until the final two stages when Phil really turned up the proverbial wick and stormed through the forest to clock times 11 seconds faster than Bannister.
Such performance brought the local crew through to fourth overall, first two-wheel drive car and first in class.
There were only eight retirements throughout the rally however, Livermore was among them, his Avenger’s engine succumbing to cylinder head gasket failure on the final stage.
The overall winners were Greg McKnight (Scotland) and Cumbria’s Heather Grisedale.