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Elliott Takes Long-Awaited Rally North Wales Win

Nick Elliot and Dave Price finally stood on the top step of the Fuchs Lubricants British Historic Rally Championship podium, by taking their FIAT 131 Abarth to victory at Saturday’s [16 March] Get Jerky Rally North Wales.

Having not won a BHRC round since Trackrod Rally Yorkshire in 2021, the pairing has often been the bridesmaids over the past three years, even taking runner-up spot in the championship in 2023. But a measured drive which saw conditions suit the FIAT and Elliott, allowed him to build up a margin during the morning loop of stages and manage his lead over the second pass, taking a well-deserved and long-awaited BHRC top score, plus the FIA Category K win.

“Thats the first one in the Fiat and the first one in a couple of years so yeah I’m really pleased with that” he said.

“I said from the start the car was that much better from the word go, it was actually making me sweat on most stages.

“As ever the pace at the front has been ferocious, with five or six drivers, all with great talent and pace but we had that just little bit extra today and nicked it. But that’s not bad for an old Fiat and not bad for an old boy like me!”

The second spot would go to Yorkshireman Daniel Mennell who led the series after the opening stage of the Riponian, only to drop down the order. His pace on home soil however was proven and the young ace returned an impressively mature drive in his Ford Escort MKII despite the tricky conditions. His sensational result also netted him the Category Three [Cars registered from 1975 to 1981] win.

Rounding out the podium would be series returnee Seb Perez in the Porsche 911. A front-runner in Category Two [cars registered between 1968 and 1975], Perez and co-driver Gary McElhinny returned a giant-killing performance to seal third and the category win in the process.

But the eventual top three could have looked very different at any point of the day, as classic stages such as Dyfi, Gartheiniog and Dyfnant tested cars and crews to the limit. Added to the mix, was persistent rain which made the fast and flowing stages an even trickier prospect.

Leading the way after the first handful of stages was Riponian winners George Lepley and Dale Bown in the Mitsubishi Galant VR4 but a sheared hub put paid to their day. Behind them a battle raged on for the podium with Matthew Robinson/Sam Collis [Escort MKII], Adrian Hetherington/Dan Petrie [Escort MKII] and newcomer David Crossen/Ben Taggert [Escort MKII] all fighting for supremacy on the opening loop.

A blistering fight between Hetherington and Crossen developed, with each swapping trading seconds over the day before a puncture dropped Hetherington out of the fight. Sadly, Crossen would fail to emerge from the Big Ray test, and that allowed Elliott to control his lead to the end.

Robinson would suffer diff issues in the closing stages and elected to call it a day, and that left Rudi Lancaster and Guy Weaver to benefit, taking fourth place in their Escort MKII. Richard Hill and Patrick Cooper rounded out the top five in their similar machine.

A return to the Rally2 [non-historic] series for David Dobson and co-driver Brian Hodgson proved fruitful as he staved off the advances of round one victors Steve Magson/Steve Bielby [Astra] to take the win in his Ford Escort MKII.

The next round of the series takes place in just three weeks, as more iconic Welsh stages are on offer at the Rallynuts Severn Valley Stages.

Fuchs Lubricants British Historic Rally Championship top five drivers provisional points after Round 2 - Get Jerky Rally North Wales

1. Nick Elliott 53
2. Adrian Hetherington 42
=3. Matthew Robinson 33
=3. Richard Hill 33
5. Daniel Mennell 29

External Credits:

Fuchs Lubricants British Historic Rally Championship/Image - Russ Otway / 90Right


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