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Tuesday 11th October 2011

Newcombes National Rally Championship Glory.

Plymouth rally driver Martin Newcombe made his final charge for championship glory in a sensational ending to the Gold Star BTRDA (British Trials & Rally Driver Association) National Forest rally championship. Driving his Mitsubishi Evo 6 and co driven by his father Peter, Martin travelled to North Wales for the Cambrian Rally last weekend which was the final round of the 8 event championship. Having already clawed his way up to 5th position in his class (B13 Open 4 wheel drive turbo driven 2 litre cars), he needed to drive absolutely flat out to get on to the podium. An early season engine failure meant he missed the first 2 rounds of the championship. Hence he needed to score well in remaining 6 events. With a 3rd in class on and 14th overall on the 180 car Somerset Rally back in April, he was in good shape to make the challenge. Similar strong and consistent results appeared on the successive rallies in South Wales, Mid Wales, Shropshire, and Nottinghamshire where he gathered momentum for the final showdown in Llandudno.

Racing against the clock in the very rough gravel tracks of the Penmachno Forest the electrical contract manager from Plymstock did not start the event well. He hit a pot hole at speed which jarred his back. The car leaped into the air and the jolt caused co driver Dad to lose his place on the pace note book. In pain, Martin drove on blindly without being given the information about what was around the next bend. However, calmness descended after much swearing and they both got back on the pace. Unfortunately, it was much worse for main rival Stephen Petch in his Evo 9 from Durham, he failed to finish the stage and was out of the running. Also championship class leader David Wright from Doncaster in another Evo 9 suffered a broken driveshaft which ended his rally on stage2. Charging hard Martin gradually moved up the class position on the event but was still outside the podium for the championship. However, a dramatic cliff hanger was about to ensue on the final pair of stages of the Great Orme. The Great Orme being 2 runs of the 3 mile tarmac stage along a twisting cliff road of which was 400 feet above the sea in places.

Having already averaged 60mph on the first run Martin was still flat out on the final run only to see Manchester driver David Howells sidelined in his Impreza about a mile into the stage. Needing to keep focussed until the end Martin could not dare think of the consequences. There was a hole in the wall where Howells had crashed. Unhurt but unable to continue Howells, and co driver Julian Wilkinson from Tunbridge Wells, not only bounced off the wall but were bounced off their championship podium position enabling the Newcombes to come through and take the second spot in class B13. The Newcombes’ 17th position and 5th in their class, was purely academic in the 180 car rally. The championship class podium was the real prize and glory. Martin Said: “It has been a fantastic season with a pleasing result after all the hard work on the late nights keeping the car in tip top condition.”

The Newcombes are an amateur team in a semi-professional sport. However, they very much appreciate the support they receive from service crew; Andy Hocking and Paul White, and their loyal sponsors, who are; KUMHO Tyres, Protyre Gupa-P, & the Tamar Towing Centre.

Contact: Mobile 07860 731389 or Email : [email protected]



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