Young drivers are such fast learners

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Blackpool South Shore Motor Club crews were in rally action in different parts of the UK – two crews tackling the Cockermouth-based Malcolm Wilson Rally and the other pair competing on the Mid-Wales Historic Rally.

Adam Taylor and Robert Kennedy, two of the club’s youngest drivers, headed north to the Lake District to test their skills over the gravel tracks of the Whinlatter, Grizedale and Greystoke Forests ... and they didn’t disappoint!

Both finished fourth in their respective classes, no mean feat given the level of competition and their relative inexperience.

Taylor, co-driven by fellow Oxford Brookes University student Loic Ditchburn, had a lucky escape on the opening Comb stage as a spin ended with the front of their Taylors Motorsport/Stephensons Transmission Fiesta ST hanging over the side of a bridge.

They dropped almost three minutes as the incident left them in 117th (equal last) place. From there on in it was a case of ‘playing catch up’, something they did to great effect as they clawed their way back up the leaderboard to finish 69th overall.

This was despite suffering a lack of power through the final two tests as Taylor, from Clifton, explained: “The car would not rev over 4,500rpm and so we couldn’t going over 80mph.

“That may sound fast enough through the trees, but its not!”

Nevertheless Taylor and Ditchburn fulfilled their aim of securing sufficient points to place them top of the Ford Fiesta Sport Challenge standing,s ahead of the Welshpool-based Bulldog International Rally later this month.

The rally was 17-year-old Kennedy’s first gravel rally and the St Annes driver, co-driven by Steve Coombes from Hoghton, soon found he was on a steep learning curve.

Once he’d survived a couple of scares on the opening pair of stages, he settled into a rhythm to bring his Nissan Micra to the rally finish in 80th place overall. At the finish Kennedy, who has honed his driving skills in Junior Rallying and AutoSolos, said: “The rally was fantastic and the car came back without any damage.”

A brace of South Shore’s senior drivers had good results in Wales, where Mark Holmes finished seventh in the Mid-Wales Historic Rally and Nick Woodman was 14th in the Mid-Wales Classic Rally.

Fleetwood Auto Engineer Holmes and co-driver Tony Lindsay collected awards for finishing second in Class C3 in their Ford Escort Mk1.

Former motorcycle race ace Woodman was co-driven by Chris Parsons in the Motortune Ford Escort Mk2.

n Blackpool South Shore Motor Club run the first of their two annual Stage Rallies this weekend, with the Roskirk Stages taking place on Sunday at Wigan’s Three Sisters Race Circuit.

Volunteer safety marshals are urgently required and are asked to contact Adrian Atkinson on 07919 694903 for further details.

Experience isn’t necessary as those new to the role will be paired with experienced marshals.

PHIL JAMES