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2016/05 - Dixies Historic Rally Challenge (0 images) - created by Adge on 10/05/2016 at 13:31:16
So after having a good run on the Tour of Epynt, it was decided to enter the next round of the King of Epynt championship, the Dixies Historic Rally. Held over a shorter compact route with only one recce run over the stages, knowledge would be at a premium. The rally was also a round of the Historic Rally championship, so featured lots of older cars including a Ferrari 308 GTB which was a very rare sight to see on British tarmac. Seeded at car 3 Adrian Spencer/Mark Hewitt in Adrian's ex works Prodrive built Subaru Impreza S11 WRC car the pair were looking forward to the challenge. Seeded at 1 was last years winner Phil Turner in his recently acquired EVO 9 and Andy Fraser in his Darrian was seeded at 2. Behind Adrian and Mark was Geoff Kitney in his Evo 6.

The day started off dry and sunny which looked liked the Darrian of Andy Fraser would be their main rival, however by the time the rally started it had begun to rain, which improved Adrian and Marks chances against the 2 wheel drive Darrian, but rallying can be a cruel sport and Andy Fraser was forced to retire before the start of the 1st stage with driveshaft failure. With the rain falling consistently and looking set for the day at least it made tyre choice easy with Adrian and Mark opting for wets.

The 1st loop consisted of 2 stages approx each 4 miles long and with conditions slippy Adrian made the most of the 4 wheel drive traction and set 2 fastest times to open an eight second lead over Phil Turner. The 2nd loop consisted of a repeat of the 1st 2 stages and Adrian beginning to get to grips with the conditions again set the fastest times to increase his lead to 19 seconds.

Stages 5 and 6 followed and again Adrian set the fastest times to increase his lead, however some warnings that a shaft had broken caused some worrying moments, but this just turned out to be a dicky sensor which the boys in service quickly sorted.

Stages 7 and 8 were repeats of 5 & 6 and with another couple of fasted times increased their lead over Phil Turner who in turn was starting to come under a bit of pressure from Geoff Kitney.

Stages 9 & 10 and Adrian still set the pace even when having to vitually stop on stage 9 when avoiding a couple of sheep who were standing on the narrow bridge on the way down to Four Ways and then a slight off on stage 10 losing little time but sharpening the concentration, however they still set the fastest times for the stages.

With only 2 stages to go the pressure was on to get to the end with no more drama's and take their 1st win in the car. This proved easier said than done when on stage 11 they passed a mini parked on its roof, fortunately the crew were OK and with a steady run due to the big lead they took the win.

So after 10 years Adrian and Mark finally took their 2nd rally win of their career and in convincing style with 12 fastest times from 12 stages to win by 1 min 13 sec. In 2nd place was Phil Turner, last years winner who hung on from Geoff Kitney in 3rd. A well run rally over a compact route on the challenging roads of the Epynt ranges.

This win moves Adrian and Mark into the lead of the King of Epynt championship, however with some of the big boys away at the Manx rally and with only 3 out of 5 rallies to count, this may not be the case at the end of the year, but who knows.

The team are now readying the car for the next round, the Mini Epynt stages at the beginning of June.