Milner’s championship hopes rise

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East Yorkshire rally driver Jonny Milner is celebrating after a second convincing win in the Toyota Sprint Series, which puts the 2011 Toyota Sprint Series championship title firmly within his grasp.

Driving his ‘Extreme’ Toyota Celica GT4, Milner from Huggate, beat defending champion Adrian Smith by 2.1 seconds – his biggest margin this year – to take his third victory in the fifth round at the Croft Circuit, Dalton on Tees.

Of the victory, Milner said: “This was a new circuit to the championship and it was a fast track that suited us well.”

“The Merlin Preparations team had rebuilt the engine since the last round and the car handled superbly and the throttle response was amazing. We’re now one point in the lead and in with a real chance to win the championship at next month’s final round at Blyton, Scunthorpe.

“We’ll be making some final tweaks to overcome some pressurising issues and we’re hopeful that the pre-Goodwood testing that we did at Blyton will stand us in good stead as far as the course is concerned.”

Meanwhile, the rest of the Merlin International and Rock Oil supported team also had a successful day with wins for Andrew Falkingham in A3-Pro Class and York Rallycross driver Ash Simpson in the A3-Street Class.

In the same class, Ash’s girlfriend Danni Bark finished third and brothers John and James Crabtree had a great day to come come seventh and sixth respectively.

The final round of the championship takes place at Blyton Park on 15 October.