Sutton upon Derwent driver Ashley Slights continued his excellent run on the fifth round of the BTRDA Rally First Championship, the Rainworth Skoda Dukeries Rally.
Over 126 cars competed in the Southwell-based event, which saw crews battle it out over nine gravel special stages totalling 44 stage miles. With dry and dusty stage conditions, Slights and co-driver Tom Hughes pushed hard on the opening four stages, setting fastest stage times on each.
After four stages, Slights said: “So far today the car has being handling great. We’ve struggled a bit on the long straights as the car is underpowered compared to our rivals, but I’m happy with our performance up to now.”
Slights and Hughes left the only main service on the day with a 27 second lead over Chris Hellings. The Yorkshire pair continued to improve on their lead over the following three stages.
However, after stage seven, the car was found to have damage to a front wishbone mounting, which meant consolidating their lead over the two remaining stages.
Slights said: “I’m glad we managed to maintain the lead, as the damage from stage seven has affected the cars handling for the final 2 stages.”
After 44 miles of special stages, Ashley Slights’ and Tom Hughes’ winning margin in the Rally First 1.4 class was 46 seconds, they also finished fifth in the 1400 category overall.
The fifth consecutive win from five events means Slights has won the 2011 BTRDA Rally First 1.4 Championship, with three remaining rounds left.
Slights commented: “I’m over the moon about winning the championship. I’ve thoroughly enjoyed this year, and we’ve had some great battles. Thanks again go to Tom for a sound job co-driving.”
Ashley and Tom would like to say a big thank you to Peter Smith of Swift Group Ltd, Gordon Birtwhisle of Proflex UK, Martyn Harrison, S Harrison Developments Ltd and Warren Philliskirk of Philliskirk Drainage Ltd.
Slights said: “I would personally like to thank all my sponsors who have supported me this again this year.
“The funding, support, advice and encouragement they have given me this season is greatly appreciated. I hope that winning the BTRDA Rally First title again this year, has given them something in return.”
Slights added, “As of now the car is for sale. We are focusing on next year’s car, and are hoping to see it out before the end of 2011”
For further information regarding the sale of the Toyota Yaris, please contact 01904 611494.