McRae triumphs in short sharp Astra

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Jimmy McRae swept to victory on round two of the Armajaro MSA British Historic Championship, the Astra Stages in North Wales on April 1. Partnered by Campbell Roy in the Prepfab-entered Porsche 911, McRae was only troubled by a late puncture on his way to a fine victory.

Leading the chase of McRae was the Escort Mk2 of Gareth Lloyd/Ryland James, which won the classic category with what Lloyd justifiably described as his best-ever performance on gravel.

With four stages in the Clocaenog complex and then two in Aberhirnant forest, the Astra was a short, sharp event, and a mere 10sec covered the next three Escorts from the posthistoric category.

With his new Porsche 911 not quite ready in time, Steven Smith reverted to his Escort RS2000, and though not able to run with McRae he managed to get the Pinto-powered car home ahead of the BDA-engined Mkls of Mark Solloway/ Mark Crisp and David Stokes/ Guy Weaver. With a big attack on the last stage. Solloway edged Stokes by a single second.

In the historic category, Patrick Watts/Elgan Davies made it two wins from two events in 2006 in their Sunbeam Tiger, but had to survive suspension failure on stage four. Having welded the breakage up at service, Watts ran very late through the remaining two stages but held on to win by just over half a minute.

A tremendous battle for second among the historics went to Dessie Nutt/Geraldine McBride (Porsche 911) by a single second from Neil Calvert/Arlene Cookson (Lotus-Cortina).