Club news - Promenade Stages Rally Sep 16

There were podium finishes for two Blackpool South Shore Motor Club crews last weekend when Simon Bowen and Richard Robinson finished first and Mark Holmes and Craig Simkiss finished third on New Brighton’s Promenade Stages Rally.

Organised by Wallasey Motor Club, a ninety car entry made the start of the two-day event that makes best use of Wirral Council’s closure of the sea front roads. An epic battle had developed between the eventual winners ex-Petter Solberg Subaru Impreza WRC S11 and the Skoda Fabia R5 of Neil Simpson and Paula Swinscoe. 

It came to a head on the penultimate stage when Simpson set fastest time to reduce Bowen’s lead to two seconds but in doing so hit a kerb destroying a wheel and bursting a shock absorber in the process. It was at this point that Bowen’s Subaru developed gearbox problems that would force him to tackle the final stage with only three gears. Unsure as to the final outcome he waited anxiously at the stage finish for Simpson’s arrival. When word came through that the Skoda driver had been forced to retire a much relieved Bowen acknowledged “We’ve been lucky!” 

Separating the two South Shore crews on the podium were Welsh duo Wil Owen and Rob Hopwell who finished second in a Ford Escort Mk2 ahead of the Holmes/Simkiss MG Metro 6R4.

Matthew Daniels was another South Shore member in the prizes as he guided Citroen Saxo pilot Jack Darbyshire to second place in the 1600cc class. Other Blackpool crews who finished included Gary Dillon and Dave Riley who made it home 36th in their Honda Civic Type R and Paul Reader and Callum Cross who brought their Peugeot 205 home in 43rd place. Michael Figg and co-driver Tommi Meadows claimed 55th place bringing their diminutive Nissan Micra home ahead of a host of more powerful cars.

Montage: Simon Bowen/Richard Robinson (Subaru Impreza WRC S11) with Mark Holmes/Craig Simkiss (MG Metro 6R4) inset.