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Chilman and Thomas take Grist honours
1:00pm Friday 20th July 2012 in Sport
ROGER Chilman and Bryan Thomas took top honours at Quinton Motor Club’s Nicky Grist Stages rally.
The pair established an early lead and never looked back over 45 miles of gravel stages on and around the Epynt Ranges in mid-Wales, giving their BTRDA Gold Star Championship challenge a much-needed boost.
Hugh Hunter and Andy Marchbank won four stages but could not keep up with Chilman and Thomas, who arrived at the finish in Builth Wells winners by 17 seconds.
The Quinton club’s own members experienced a mixed day. Halesowen ’s John Connor was co-driving Wug Utting’s Impreza N12b for the first time and the pair took second in class and 10th overall.
They were followed home by the Quinton pairing of Paul Walker and Vern Brown who took 11th overall and fourth in class in their Impreza. Adrian Mayall and Rob Hayden finished 14th in the highly-competitive 1400S class in their Alfa Romeo 33, while Geoff Cottrill and Nathan Crewe were seventh in the WR1 class in their MG Metro 6R4.
But Marlon Roberts and Steve Deeley were forced into retirement with suspension damage after stage four, with Halesowen’s Neil Matthews — running near the top of the Silver Star Championship — having to withdraw shortly before the start.
Clerk of the course Neil Cross said: “Our event won the award as Rally of the Year in 2010 and we were runners-up in 2011.
“This year’s event was even better than those and so we have great hopes of winning the title again. The team really stepped up to the mark and the event ran smoothly.”