British Historic Rally Championship

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Jason Pritchard produced a masterclass of wet weather driving to secure his first Fuchs Lubricants British Historic Rally Championship victory in five years after storming to victory at the Nigel Ferguson Fabricators Tour of Epynt on 30 July.  After a slow start, Pritchard and co-driver Phil Clarke overhauled current championship leader Nick Elliott during the rain-soaked afternoon stages and give his newly built Ford Escort MKII a perfect maiden outing.  

The arduous Epynt Military ranges signalled the championship’s only asphalt round of the season and despite having swapped their usual FIAT 131 for an Escort MKII for the weekend, Elliot and co-driver Dave Price would have to settle for second place, whilst Richard Jordan and James Gratton Smith secured their best BHRC result in third.

Jason Pritchard produced a masterclass of wet weather driving

The day would start dry and Elliott immediately took control of a small but competitive field, completing the first loop with a 12-second advantage over Pritchard, who suffered an overshoot on the second test.  Richard Tuthill and Stephane Prevot, lacking recent Epynt experience, were a further 12 seconds back in their Porsche 911.

The repeat run started as the weather began to change, but Elliott held Pritchard at arm’s length.  Tuthill was the first casualty of the day, putting the Porsche off the road at a famous right-hander on Burmah Road and promoting Jordan to third as the rain on the Welsh mountains increased, finally becoming torrential.

Nick Elliott tightened his grip on the championship lead

Pritchard called on all his previous experience of the ranges to go quicker by a staggering 19 seconds on the sixth test and repeated the feat on the final stage to emerge from the day as a worthy winner.  “To come away with the win in the BHRC in a brand-new car is the icing on the cake,” he said.  “It’s always good to be competing on Epynt and especially in the stunning Escort Scott Williams Motorsport have built for me.  The changing conditions just added to it, and I love the challenge.”

Elliott was delighted with his second place, saying he, “would have taken that [the result] at the start of the day”, and his runner-up spot ensures that he strengthens his lead in the championship with just three rounds remaining.

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