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Guy Wilks and Phil Pugh (Mitsubishi Lancer) had won the opening round of the British Rally Championship, the Pirelli International Rally.

The Mitsubishi pair took the event by the scruff of the neck, setting fastest times on all but one stage. Wilks’ march to the top step of the podium was unhampered by anything more serious than acting as road sweeper to the following pack.

Finns Juho Hänninen and Mikko Markkula did not disgrace themselves though, taking a fine second in their debut on the Pirelli International Rally in their Subaru. They finished with a flourish on the final test, their stage time only 2.9 seconds adrift of Wilks’.

Third, in a brand new Subaru was David Higgins who was delighted to be on the pace again after swapping to the new car. He spent the rally fine tuning the car set-up and was consistently close to the pace.

Mark Higgins’ rally came to an untimely end in his new MG S2000 Sport, when engine problems forced him to stop on stage ten. His event had started with an oil leak scare that meant his excellent second place on the first stage was negated by time penalties. He had recovered to third place and was pleased with the car’s performance when the podium was taken from him.

Fourth, in his debut for the Mitsubishi team, was Phillip Morrow, whose place in the team was secured by winning the Evo Challenge. Not only did the Ulsterman impress, but he set a fastest time, beating his team-mate in his first outing in a left hand drive car.


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