Will and Paul ready for Carlisle Stages this weekend..

Will and Paul set out in this weekend’s DMACK Carlisle Stages Rally looking to improve their position of second place in Series 5 in the 2013 RAC Championship. The MMS Toyota Corolla is ready to get amongst the more familiar marques and the team are almost packed and ready to go.

An excellent 60-car entry for the inaugural running of the event includes 50 historic cars and the addition of former British Rally Champion Laukkanen and Glenn Patterson in a DMACK-backed Ford Escort Mk2 add further spice to the entry. The Finnish ace will be chased away by championship leaders McCormack and Phil Clarke, while round one winners Nick Elliott and Dave Price will run as car three in their Ford Escort Mk2.

The Roger Albert Clark Rally Motor Club has developed the R.A.C. Championship, which focuses on historic rally cars complying with MSA historic regulations. But, significantly, it is also opening up the chance for the next generation of cars to join the historic fraternity.

The 2013 championship is running over six one-day gravel rallies in England, Scotland and Wales. The championship caters for cars from MSA historic Categories One, Two and Three as well as cars prepared to FIA Appendix K. Additional classes accommodate cars built up to the end of 1986 as well as other pre ’87 cars that do not fully comply with historic regulations.

With Laukkanen, McCormack and Elliott at the head of the action, the pace in the Rob Smith Rallying Series 3 is going to be fierce and the relative pace of these three crews will surely be a talking point of the rally. However, this is far from a three-way contest as a gaggle of very quick Ford Escorts will pack out the top 10, topped by Jason Pritchard/Dale Furniss, Matthew Robinson/Nigel Hutchinson, Tim Pearcey/Neil Shanks and Matt Edwards/Sam Collis.

In class D4, variety to the Escort pack will come from two very rapid cars: the Vauxhall Chevette of Steve Magson/Geoff Atkinson and the Sunbeam Lotus of Guy Anderson/Kim Baker. An excellent entry in class D3 is headed by the Opel Kadett of Peter Smith/Patrick Walsh and the Escorts of Ben Mellors/Alex Lee and Paul Fry/Mike Steele.

Making a welcome championship debut in the Martin Jones Transmissions Series 4 for cars prepared to FIA Appendix K regulations is the stunning Lancia Stratos of Steve Perez/Carl Williamson, which should be refettled after an off on Saturday’s Severn Valley Stages.

In the Capital Construction Series 2 (1968-74), Tim Mason and Graham Wild head the field in their Porsche 911 with the Ford Escort Mk1 of Mark and Tim Tugwell next up from the similar car of Nick Jarvis/Craig Thorley. Dick Slaughter/Tim Sayer head class C3 in their Escort Mk1 and face opposition from the similar cars of Peter Egerton/Gareth Lloyd and David Kirby/Chris Rixon. Meanwhile, in a new trial initiative from the championship, the 1600cc cars from Series 2 and 3 will run first on the road and that has put the Ford Escort Mk1 of Robin Shuttleworth/Ronnie Roughead into the role of first car on the road.

In the Walker Diecastings Series 1 for the pre ’68 cars, Ian Beveridge and Paul Price (Volvo PV544) should set the pace from the Saab 96 of Stephen Higgins/Howard Allison.

The Holton Homes Series 5 is for the later generation of cars and it is the BMW 325 of Simon Wallis/Graham Wride at the head of the group from the Toyota Corolla of Will Midgley/Paul Slingsby. Meanwhile, in Series 7 (for the open class cars), Dylan Davies and Llion Williams will set a fierce pace in their Escort Mk1.

Although not part of the R.A.C. Championship, the organisers are pleased to welcome a group of competitors in modern cars to the event. The field will add another dimension to the rally and the quality line-up is headed by Jock Armstrong/Kirsty Riddick (Subaru Impreza) and John MacCrone/Phil Pugh (Citroen DS3).

The DMACK Carlisle Stages is organised by the Roger Albert Clark Rally Motor Club. (exert courtesy of the RAC Rally Motor Club)



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