Two rally crews competed on the Trackrod Rally in Yorkshire on Saturday.
More than 45 miles of special stages were on the menu with Ian Joel (Cragg Bank) and his usual co-driver Graeme Wood (Manchester) in their MRF Tyres/Fuchs Lubricants/710 Oils sponsored Escort Cosworth.
They were hoping to gain sufficient points in their quest to take their Class Title Crown in the BTRDA Championsip.
Heysham’s Mike Wolff/Mark Twiname were in Mike’s BMW - supported by MRF Tyres/BayMix Concrete/CC Fabrication/Builders Supply West Coast/H&G Vehicle Services seeded at a lowly 106 considering the crew’s recent performances.
Seeded at 11, the Joel/Wood Cosworth was immediately on the pace and up to ninth after SS2.
On SS1 Wolf and Twiname screamed through the forest in their distinctive-sounding BMW to set a time some 80 places higher than their seeding as they moved up to 26th overall.
SS2 saw the crew continue their pace until three miles from the finish when their car hit a huge hole on a corner, the shock of the impact puncturing a rear tyre, bending the sump-guard and cracking the sump.
The crew pressed on as best they could however, the incident dropped them back into 30th place.
The team’s service crew did a sterling job in repairing the damage, allowing the crew to continue to SS3 but at a passage control in the middle of Dalby Forest Mike decided to switch the engine off and it refused to start again, meaning they were forced to retire.
The Joel/Wood Escort Cosworth kept pace with the leaders to achieve their hoped-for Class title and in addition the award for second in Class B13 as they finished a superb eighth overall.
Out of an entry of 141 crews, 65 crews were classed as finishers in the tough rally.
1. Charles Payne/Carl Williamson Ford Fiesta WRC
2. Steve Petch/Michael Wilkinson Ford Fiesta WRC
3. Thomas Preston/Stuart Loudon Skoda R5
8. Ian Joel/Graeme Wood Escort Cosworth