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Carlisle Stages

Former British Junior Rally Champion Martin McCormack scores an emphatic victory on the Carlisle stages.

This was the third round in the newly formed RAC Historic Rally Championship and was based over some classic stages around the Scottish borders. The event featured a bumper field of historic classification cars dominated by the venerable MK2 Escort, this rally also featured more modern 4WD machines to spice up the overall leader board.

Returning to the championship in his BDA Escort Marty was keen to reignite some of the close battling which has characterised the championship so far. Coming from a fantastic victory on the previous round in Hamsterley, Marty and co-driver Phil Clarke were not expecting it all to go their way as the historic section alone featured several former British Champions all in equal specification cars.

Marty set out his intentions early on the first stage, taking a 3 second lead from first round winner Nick Elliott in damp and slippery conditions.

It was then that Marty began to get into his stride and found a good rhythm over the slippery Scottish roads to work up to a 22 second lead by stage 4 of the 6 stage event. It really was a fine display from the former Citroen driver who chose this historic series this year to maintain his match fitness in anticipation of a return to competition in a more modern machine.

The pace remained fast over the last 2 stages but Marty showed a cool head to deliver two more sets of fastest times in the historic leg thus giving him a clean sweep of stage wins and in turn taking the historic win by 36 seconds from Nick Elliott. More notably however Marty managed to hold on to 2nd overall on the main rally in his 2WD car – an astonishing performance against the more modern WRC and GrpN machines.

This result sees Marty and Phil extend their lead of the RAC Historic Championship and has provided a tantalizing glimpse of the speed of this crew. Marty was keen to thank the support of co-driver Phil Clarke and his supporting team for this brilliant result.

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