Connor McCloskey stunned regular BTRDA Rally Championship competitors by winning the Team GMF Wyedean Forest Rally, write Colin and James Beckett.
The Ulsterman started the final stage of the day some way off of the lead but a high-speed charge through the Speech House special stage saw him and co-driver, Francis Regan, climb the leaderboard to claim a memorable victory.
The Subaru Impreza pairing headed home David Wright/Michael Wilkinson (Mitsubishi Lancer Evo 9) amd Hugh Hunter/Andy Marchbank (Ford Focus WRC).
The Advertiser & Review region crews suffered mixed fortunes on the gravel roads in the Forest of Dean, with the Rob Smith Rallying Ford Escort RS of Rob Weir and Shaun O’Gorman the only crew to make it back to the rally finish in Chepstow. The crew completed the event 63rd overall, third in class.
The lead Rob Smith Rallying entry, the number 9 Subaru Impreza of Towcester’s Rob Smith and Ross Weir was a retirement with mechanical failure after the fifth special stage.
Speaking on behalf of the BTRDA, Steve Gregg, said: “This was a good start to the BTRDA season. The Wyedean is always a very popular event with competitors and spectators. We are now looking ahead to the rest of the season and the second round of the championship in March.”
The Malcolm Wilson Rally, based in Cumbria, is the second round of the BTRDA Rally Championship and will take place on Saturday, March 2.