Class win and top ten finish overall for dale crew
ON Saturday, the sound of rally cars could be heard again with the return of racing for Teesdale’s crews.
Competing at Melbourne raceway, an old Second World War airfield in Yorkshire, tricky conditions lay in wait for competitors with heavy rains in the days before the event resulting in large puddles and slippery surfaces.
Two crews were competing from Mickleton Service Station in similar specification Renault Clios.
Alistair Hutchinson, from Eggleston, and St John Dykes, from Startforth, were fastest from the start. Despite struggling for grip the pair set the fifth fastest time on stage one and set three top ten times throughout the morning’s 5 stages.
This left the pair in tenth overall and first in class by the lunch halt.
The other local crew of Andrew Hutchinson, from Evenwood, and Joe Hutchinson, from Eggleston, made a steadier start.
An early mistake in the first run knocked their confidence and the crew took it steady, learning the grip levels through the rest of the morning.
Despite this, their increase in pace throughout the morning meant the pair climbed to second in class by the lunch halt.
They continued this faster pace throughout the afternoon and were looking good for a trophy position.
Unfortunately, in the final stage a heavy hit to the underneath of the car cracked the engine sump and the car was stopped to prevent any further damage, meaning retirement – disappointing for Andrew and Joe, but they both thoroughly enjoyed their return to action.
There were no such problems for Alistair and St John in their Northern Energy sponsored Clio. They fought throughout the afternoon to remain in the top ten.
A change of tyres for the last stage proved an excellent move and the increase in speed for that final stage clinched tenth overall and the class win, delighting the pair.