When news happens send us your pictures, video and views. Text BE to 80360 or contact us by email
Rallye Sunseeker: Dorset drivers enjoy their day while Korhonen lifts crown
NEVER has the difference between the haves and have-nots in sport been so apparent than across a couple of hundred yards on a Creekmoor car park.
While the sizeable pit-crews of the International class sought shelter from October's rain under a host of gazebos or inside purpose-built trailers, the independent drivers taking to the National rally reached for their own spanners to tend to their carefully constructed machines.
At the top table, Finland's Jukka Korhonen became his nation's favourite son after securing third place in Rallye Sunseeker International by the smallest of margins across the Ringwood gravel.
The 29-year-old's top-three finish ensured he would take back to Nilsia, south-east Finland, the MSA British Rally Championship crown, ending his country's 12-year wait to find a winner.
Korhonen's title rivals Alastair Fisher, who finished 0.2 seconds behind the Finn in fourth, and Tom Cave, second behind Osian Pryce, would realistically have had to win in Dorset to change the destiny of the crown.
But, in an epic battle to reach Somerley House in the fastest time, the challengers fell just short as less than a minute covered the top five after almost an hour's racing.
However, all of that was a world away from those who slalomed through the trees as much for fun as the accolades on offer.
Wimborne pair Matt Thorne, 47, and Les Harrogate, 52, hit the comeback trail after painstaking work on their Ford Escort Mk II.
After successfully navigating the Woodpecker rally a year ago, the duo were more than surprised when an ordinary road user piled into the side of their beloved beast en-route back to HQ.
Casting his mind back to the galling event, Harrogate said: “We just couldn't believe it. We had got through the rally and out of nowhere we were smashed into by a road car about 300 yards from the final time control.
“The car was a mess. It bent the roll cage and chassis and Matt had to put a lot of work into coming back.”
Several parts and a respray later, they went in pursuit of a third D2 class victory but retired after a clutch problem on stage nine.
The success they craved was secured by Ringwood team Jay and Sally Wyatt, while Bournemouth's Darren Jones and Paul Burley accomplished their own mission - finishing a rally in Jones's Seat Ibiza.
Prior to the race, 42-year-old Jones had told the Daily Echo: “It's just about having a laugh and finishing. There is no way we can compete with the Escorts and I don't yet trust the car - it's still dicey here and there.”
They came third in the D1/D2 class, while Wimborne's Bob Seager and Simon Hannam completed the Historique course in their MG Midget.
Comments are closed on this article.