Three years on from son Guy winning the Darlington & DMC-organised Jack Frost Stages Rally at Croft Circuit, this time it was the turn of his dad Peter Smith to claim the honours following a titanic scrap throughout the day writes Larry Carter.
Along with co-driver Patrick Walsh in their Ford Fiesta RSWRC, their winning margin at the end of eight stages was just seven seconds over Alan Kirkaldy/Cameron Fair (Ford Fiesta) with former National champion John Stone along with son Alex (Ford Fiesta WRC) taking third a further nine seconds back.
With unusually dry conditions prevailing, it was last year’s winners Barry Lindsay/Caroline Lodge who were fastest on SS1 in their SGP Motorsport Ford Fiesta S2000 before a second separated the top four crews after SS2. Kirkaldy took over the lead and by half way, his advantage over Stone was three seconds with Smith a further two back in third.
But the crucial stage as it turned out was SS5 as Smith stopped the clocks seven seconds ahead of Stone with a spin dropping Kirkaldy 17 seconds to scupper his bid. From there, Smith, who lives near York, was never headed and although Scotsman Kirkaldy set fastest time on the final two stages, it wasn’t enough to wrest victory from Smith with Lancastrian Stone in third.
Best of the locals were the returning duo of Tony Bardy from Scotch Corner and Mickleton co-driver Tony Walker (Ford Focus WRC) who posted fourth ahead of the best 2WD runners Paul and Jessica Swift (Ford Escort) from Great Smeaton with Lee/Cole Hastings (Subaru) in sixth.
Seventh up was the Subaru WRC of Kepwick businessman Peter Stephenson and co-driver Antony Jones with the ever-impressive Joe Cunningham from Leeming taking eighth overall in his newly acquired Procter’s-backed Subaru Impreza he was sharing with Northallerton co-driver Marc Fowler. Alistair Hutchinson from Mickleton and Staindrop co-driver St John Dykes took ninth and a class win in their Renault Clio, with team-mate Mark Thompson from Staindrop and Barnard Castle co-driver Jordan English in tenth in their Peugeot 206
Jack Frost Stages with Cartersport Rally Results
1 Peter Smith/Patrick Walsh (Ford Fiesta RSWRC) 53m 55s
2 Alan Kirkaldy/Cameron Fair (Ford Fiesta) +7s
3 John Stone/Alex Stone (Ford Fiesta WRC)
4 Tony Bardy/Tony Walker (Ford Focus WRC)
5 Paul Swift/Jessica Swift (Ford Escort)
6 Lee Hastings/Cole Hastings (Subaru Impreza)
7 Peter Stephenson/Antony Jones (Subaru P2000 WRC)
8 Joe Cunningham/Marc Fowler (Subaru Impreza)
9 Alistair Hutchinson/St John Dykes (Renault Clio)
10 Mark Thompson/Jordan English (Peugeot 206 GTi)