CHEPSTOW rally driver Sacha Kakad took top Group N honours in his Westbase-backed Mitsubishi Lancer Evo 10 on last weekend’s Nicky Grist Stages.
The Builth Wells-based event played host to the Prestone British Rally Championship, Ravenol BTRDA Championship, Pirelli Welsh series and offered 45 gravel miles in dry dusty conditions, plus 75 miles of tarmac on the Epynt military ranges on the Sunday for the British Rally Championship contenders.
Kakad and co-driver James Aldridge found themselves second fastest in the hotly contested Group N battle early on, but an equal fastest time overall on the first run through Halfway forest moved him to the head of Group N, a lead he wouldn’t relinquish for the rest of the day to finish fifth overall and win the Group N class by eight seconds.
Elsewhere, Will Rogers teamed up with Peter Stephenson in the Able Demolition-backed Ford Focus WRC for the first time,and had a fairly trouble free day in the hot conditions to take eighth overall and fifth in class.
Ross-on-Wye businessman Paul Gunter with Jack Walby on the notes in the BG Landrovers-backed Escort RS1800 had a terrific run to 36th overall, second overall historic car and first in class, despite one or two trips through the scenery.
“Its been a good day apart from stages one and five being ridiculously rough, which spoils a good event,” said Jack. “Paul’s driven very well despite the heat and dust,” he added.
Just behind those two were Tim Phelps and Elwyn Manuel in the ex-Adrian Struthers Escort RS who took 37th and fifth in class B12 after a ding dong battle with friend and neighbour Paul Gunter.
Taking 41st overall and seventh in class was Tim’s brother Geoff Phelps in his Escort RS with Pete Wilson on the notes.
Graham Waite and Gill Cotton finished 50th overall and sixth in class in their 1600 Toyota Corolla.
Amongst the retirements on the gravel event was Dave Jenkins making a rare outing with Tim Samuel alongside in the Braces Bread RS1800, who retired after stage two with engine issues.
Richard Cole and Matthew Nicolas also retired the Richard Cole Contracting 1400 Escort after stage five while holding a strong third in class.
Sunday offered the Spencer Sport Acropolis Clubman Rally but attracted a very low entry of just 21 cars to add to the 28 BRC runners.
Pete Stephenson and Will Rogers continued their form from Saturday to finish fifth overall and fourth in class, with Tim Phelps and Elwyn Manuel taking eighth overall and second class in the Escort RS.
Andy Stokes with Adrian McNally alongside finished an excellent ninth overall and first in class on the Brawdy Stages, and maximum HRCR Old Stager championship points after 60 miles of abrasive tarmac on the roads of RAF Brawdy in Pembrokeshire last Sunday.
Photographs courtesy of Paul Mitchell