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2009 Pirelli MSA Gravel Rally Championship – Round 5 – Severn Valley National Rally – Sat 30th May 2009

Defending champions Marcus Dodd and Andrew Bargery claimed maximum points in round five of the 2009 Pirelli MSA Gravel Rally Championship with an extremely narrow victory in yesterday’s (30 May) Severn Valley National Rally.

In their Hyundai Accent WRC car, the pair left it late to secure the win on the Builth Wells-based event as they finished just 0.6 of a second ahead of the Subaru Impreza of Roger Duckworth and Mark Broomfield, who are not contesting the ANCRO series this year, after edging ahead on the seventh and final stage.

Duckworth and Broomfield had led from the outset with Dodd/Bargery getting off to a steady start on stage one before moving into second place on stage two. They struggled with a gearbox problem and lost time in stage four but resolved it in service to eventually go on to claim their third victory of the campaign.

“I’ve worked very hard for the win. I’ve been pushed by Roger and Mark all day and it’s great to get another victory,” said Dodd.

The Irish crew of Daniel Barry and Martin Brady posted a consistent performance to come home third overall, taking the honours in the Production Cup and second place in the championship in their Mitsubishi Evo 9. The result sees them maintain their lead of the series.

They beat the identical machine of Simon Hughes and Craig Parry by 30 seconds as they took third, 0.7 of a second ahead of the Evo 9 of Nik Elsmore and Craig Drew, who were fifth overall after a very close battle between the Group N crews throughout the event.

The unregistered pairing of Damian Cole and Patrick Walsh in their Hyundai Accent WRC were sixth followed by Irishman Owen Murphy and Welsh co-driver Dai Roberts in their Evo 9, claiming 18 points in the Gravel Rally Championship and making it to the finish despite an off in stage three, which caused some damage to the rear of the car.

The Icelandic pair of Daniel
Sigurdarson and Isak Gudjonson were eighth overall in their Mitsubishi Evo 10 followed by the Subaru Impreza of Grant Rees and Wyn Davies.

Rounding up the top 10 was Wug Utting and his co-driver son Max Utting in their Impreza whilst Neil Gatt and Nick Cadwallader were 12th in their Impreza with Trev Baynham and Anthony Bailey 14th
in their Ford Escort – taking maximum points in the Mintex Two Wheel Drive Challenge.

The only
crew which failed to finish was Trevor Martin and Ray Cleghorn as they bowed out after stage three with an electrical problem on their Impreza.

The Pirelli MSA Gravel Rally Championship returns with the Pro-Art Signs Swansea Bay National Rally on Saturday 18th July.

SNIPPETS:

* Regular ANCRO contestants Steve Perez and Paul Bird were unable to enter the Severn Valley National Rally as they were both competing in the Barbados Rally – I’m not sure where was hotter though!

* Encouragingly, two more crews signed up to the Pirelli MSA Gravel Rally Championship – Trevor Baynham in his Ford Escort and Neil Gatt in his Impreza.

* The battle for the Production Cup honours was so close. On stage five almost two seconds separated Nik Elsmore/Craig Drew, Simon Hughes/Craig Parry and Daniel Barry/Martin Brady. On stage six it got even closer – with one tenth of a second separating Hughes/Parry from Elsmore/Drew and Daniel Barry/Martin Brady – the latter two crews posting the exact same time!

* The next round of the Pirelli MSA Gravel Rally Championship remains in Wales with the Pro-Art Signs Swansea Bay National Rally on July 18th followed by the first-ever trip to the Woodpecker Stages Rally, which is based in England but traverses the Welsh border, for the series on September 5th.

* Simon Hughes and Craig Parry were a late entry for the event but it was a worthwhile trip for the pair as they finished fourth overall.

For further information please visit
www.severnvalleynational.co.uk and for championship positions and other information, visit www.gravelrally.co.uk.

Results
1 Marcus Dodd/Andrew Bargery Hyundai Accent WRC 1:03:01.6
2 Roger Duckworth/Mark Broomfield Subaru Impreza 1:03:02.2
3 Daniel Barry/Martin Brady Mitsubishi Evo 9 1:04:28.6
4 Simon Hughes/Craig Parry Mitsubishi Evo 9 1:04:58.9
5 Nik Elsmore/Craig Drew Mitsubishi Evo 9 1:04:59.6
6 Damian Cole/Patrick Walsh Hyundai Accent WRC 1:05:08.8
7 Owen Murphy/Dai Roberts Mitsubishi Evo 9 1:06:20.0
8 Daniel Sigurdarson/Isak Gudjonson Mitsubishi Evo 10 1:06:53.9
9 Grant Rees/Wyn Davies Subaru Impreza 1:06:55.9
10 Wug Utting/Max Utting Subaru Impreza 1:07:15.0

2009 Pirelli MSA Gravel Rally Championship Standings after Round Four

1 Daniel Barry 100
2. Marcus Dodd 98
3. Simon Hughes 94
4. Nik Elsmore 86
5. Paul Bird 68

Picture attached of Marcus Dodd and Andrew Bargery in action on the Severn Valley Rally courtesy of www.cmwi.net.

Thanks to Amanda Cornforth, Lyn Jenkins and Andrew Haill for thier assistance.

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