Spring Stages Rally - April 9, 2006  
by Steve McNulty  
Sculthorpe, Norfolk. 6 stage event with a total of 80 miles. The first 2 stages were 8 miles with no spilt, and the next 4 stages 17 miles with one split.

Heavy overnight frost had made the surface very slippery and as we were to find out there was a lot of mud on parts of the stage.

WECC had two members out Steve Tillbrook had done the event last year and had a great rally with his main problem losing 4th gear for the last 2 stages. He still went on to finish with his best ever finish 2nd overall in this MK1 Escort. A great result by Steve.

The first stage got off to a bad start for WECC member Steve McNulty co-driving for Dick Mauger in an Escort Cosworth with an off on stage 1 sliding on some mud and into a bank. The car would not start for a while and when it did Dick seemed to think something was damaged but off we went, soon to have a second problem. My fault this time we wrong slotted in a right turn; the marshals stopped us and we turned round and went back on the stage and right 20 metres further up. We finished the stage with a time of 10.42 and in 24th place.

Stage 2 was a repeat of stage 1; the junction I got wrong with a few others was now covered with cones and a no entry sign. We finished the stage in 9.19 4th fastest and 
moved up to 9th overall.

Stage 3 - 17 miles long. A good run and up to 7th overall, but not to much chance of getting 
into the top 3 as there times were 30 seconds faster than ours on that stage.

Stage 4 same stage again, but the event leader Ray Brammer was parked up with a broken wheel. For some reason we were 5 seconds slower on the second run than the first. There was a little rain or maybe Dick was getting tired but we still moved up to 4th.

Stage 5 was almost the same as 3/4 in the opposite direction. We were 28 seconds off 3rd which was Steve Tillbrook in his MK 1 Escort. There was one surprise on stage 5; what had been a slow corner running the other way was now a fast straight into a 90 left and just before the corner on the braking point there was a bump which you did not notice on 3 and 4 coming out of the corner. We hit the bump which threw us up in the air the car landed on its nose and Dick had to use all this skill to get stop before we hit a building. The car seemed okay and we passed 3 cars on our second lap. Just near the end of the stage we could see car 2 - the new event leader, the Darrian of Keith Davison - parked up  so we were up to 3rd. We had pushed the sump guard back and bent the radiator and fans.

With the last stage to go Dick was ready for a steady run over the last 17 miles but I had different ideas and we passed 5 cars including the two that started in front of us and set fastest stage time and finished 3rd overall.

So a great recovery after the first stage, and with 1500 cones you had to be on your toes finding your way around the stage. The event was almost cancelled 10 days before the event with only 36 entries but 13 late entries made it 49 starters.

Send your rally reports to Ray Crowther