West and Cox in control at Snetterton as penalty slows down speedsters

Ian Rix was 14th in Class C at Snetterton. Photo: Submitted.

Ian Rix was 14th in Class C at Snetterton. Photo: Submitted. - Credit: Archant

Chris West and navigator Steven Cox powered their way to a commanding victory in the Snetterton Stages after overhauling early leaders Ian Woodhouse and Paul Rowland.

However, the fastest car in the event was the Darrian T9 GTR of Bruce Edwards/Jim Smith who encountered early mechanical problems and arrived late for the opening stage, incurring a 30-minute time penalty which put them out of the overall contest.

The opening stage fell to Woodhouse's Ford Escort Mk2 followed by the similar examples of Paul Swift and Martin Hodgson with Woodhouse retaining his lead after the second running.

The third stage saw West getting to grips with the Snetterton layout and posting the second quickest time to Edwards Darrian to move into third, nine seconds behind Woodhouse, as the pair matched times on the fourth stage.

West started the second half of the event with the quickest time and then grabbed the lead, beating rival Woodhouse by eight seconds.

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Stage seven saw West and Woodhouse dead heat for fastest time, but West pulled out all the stops on run number two to beat his rival by two seconds, which became 12 after Woodhouse incurred a 10-second time penalty for clipping a marker.

Behind the winning Peugeot Maxi the aging but effective Ford Escort Mk2 filled out seven of the remaining top 10 places with the Subaru WRC of Robert Swann/Aron Rayner the best all-wheel drive car in fifth place.

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The Stephen Tilburn/Jack Tilburn Escort was the best of the local runners with the Downham Market crew claiming sixth overall while Long Stratton's William Moore secured third in the all-wheel drive category with Harlston's Ian Rix 14th in Class C.

Aaron Rix had the bravery of navigator Anna Greenhill to thank for his third in Class A as she broke her arm in a fall minutes before the final stage while his mother, Clare, lost ninth place, in the same category, on countback to Ashleigh Morris.

Result: 1 Chris West/Steven Cox (Peugeot 306 Maxi) 55m 43s, 2 Ian Woodhouse/Paul Rowland (Ford Escort Mk2) 56m 01s,

3 Paul Swift/Steve McNulty (Ford Escort Mk2) 56m 37s, 4 Martin Hodgson/Tony Jones (Ford Escort Mk2) 57m 00s, 5 Robert Swann/Aron Rayner (Subaru S12B WRC) 57m 26s.

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