Sam Bilham made it two wins in two events as he finished first of the DMack ST Trophy crews on the Somerset Stages. Seven crews, looking resplendent in their new Zenith Racing championship overalls which were supplied by Vital Equipment.
It was Richard Wells and Calvin Houldsworth who set the pace early as they set two fastest times in the first three stages to hold a six second lead over Bilham and co-driver Cameron Fair, Wells benefiting from a test session held after he was frustrated to be down on speed at the Malcolm Wilson rally.
It all went wrong for Wells on stage four when he lost the brakes and then the car was stuck in gear, resulting in retirement. Bilham was promoted into the lead which he maintained to the end of the event.
“I’ve competed on the event twice before which gave me some very useful experience,” said Bilham. “Other than tapping a bale we had no issues and it’s great to get a second victory.”
Alasdair Currie and Steven Brown had their long journey from the Isle of Mull rewarded with a second place finish. They had been joint leader going into first service but Currie’s lack of experience of tarmac stages saw him lose 20 seconds to Bilham on the two Porlock stage. He set three fastest times on the gravel stages to finish a strong second.
In third place were Jon Ambler and Doug Chivers who were pleased to be quicker than they were on last year’s event despite using very old tyres.
Mathew Davies and Mark Crisp were fourth of the Fiesta crews and they were setting good times all day with only one issue all day, a loose wheel on one stage. The crew were pleased to have a reliable run and to gain experience.
After their dramatic accident on the Malcolm Wilson rally Tom Easson and Abi Haycock were happy to get some points on the leaderboard with a fifth place finish in their repaired Fiesta.
Elspeth Rodgers and Jordan Murphy finished sixth on their first DMack ST Trophy event and Rodgers’ first gravel rally. Rodgers gained a lot of experience and started to find a good rhythm with the car which should stand her in good stead for the rest of the season
Martin Auskerin and Jon Ross did not finish after an accident on stage one. Fortunately both crew members were ok.
Next up for the DMack ST Trophy crews is the Plains rally on 13th May which promises to be an exciting event as the new crews get used to their cars and the competition gets tougher.
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