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Neath Valley Stages

Marty McCormack and Phil Clarke come back from an early drama to deliver a 0.7 second victory on the Neath Valley Stages.

The 2013 Neath Valley Stages promoted by Three Counties Car Club was the fourth counting round of the West Wales Rally Spares R.A.C. Rally Championship. Sitting as this historic championship’s current points leader, Draperstown’s Marty McCormack alongside his Welsh co-driver, Phil Clarke went to these famous Welsh Stages continuing with their assault in fighting form and ready to resume the battle with first round winner Nick Elliott.

The stages were on fast, flowing gravel roads that had previously been made famous by the Welsh round of the World Rally Championship, but as the fight continued among one of the tightest fields in motor sport, it was the second stage that would prove to be Marty’s undoing when a slight off cost the crew 14 precious seconds. This left them entering the service halt 6 seconds in arrears of the hard charging Nick Elliott.

There were just two stages left to run in the afternoon creating a nip and tuck battle between Marty and Nick. Clawing back 6 seconds back would prove to be a tall order for the former British Junior Rally Champion, however Marty was visibly on a mission and the crew pulled their Peter McCormack and Sons sponsored MK2 Escort to the finish line leaving 0.7 seconds covering the top two contenders with Marty just pipping Nick to the post. This victory made it a hat trick for young McCormack but such was the pace of this competitive championship that the top 3 contenders would be separated by some 20 seconds after 45 miles of flat out rallying.

“Once again it was another tough battle out there today, we worked hard & thankfully it paid off despite a worrying moment on stage 2!! Totally over the moon!! ” said Marty after extending his championship lead with maximum points in the Rob Smith Rallying Series Three.

Marty is still trying hard to secure a deal to drive more modern machinery but surprisingly on this event he was matching times with world rally cars in the Open Category. The Co. Derry lad was keen to thank his sponsors Peter McCormack and Sons, Kumho Tyres, Ian Millar Fabrication and PPP Group for their continued support.

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Photo Credit Chris Huish – Rallysport Media

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