Leominster pair consolidate position in rally championship

Leominster pair consolidate position in rally championship

Darren and Sue Underwood competing at an event near Brecon.Photo: Phil Bulkeley Photography.

Darren and Sue Underwood competing at an event near Brecon.

First published in Sport by

HEREFORDSHIRE Motor Club's Darren and Sue Underwood consolidated their position in the front wheel drive category of the REIS National Asphalt Rally Championship with useful points at an event near Brecon.

The duo from Leominster finished 11th overall in the Old Forge Garage Mewla Rally in their 1600cc Nova.

However, the Underwoods will have to wait until the final round on the Otterburn ranges in Northumberland on November 9 to see if they will can be crowned class champion because they are unable to finance their participation at the next round in southern Ireland.

The pair set a rapid pace over the opening loops of stages at the latest rally, which offered 85 miles and attracted an entry of 87 crews.

But midway through the rally, their car caused concern when the throttle pedal twisted.

"It was quite nerve-racking," said Darren Underwood.

"We came up to a tight corner at high speed and and wanted to brake and change gear.

"But the engine was revving really high and I doubted if the car would stop, or worse still, damage the engine."

Sue Underwood added: "Fortunately, Darren was able to apply a temporary fix at the service, but valuable seconds were lost.

"Our class lead began to narrow, so we knew we had still had to push."

Nevertheless, the crew pushed on to finish in a credible position at the Royal Welsh Showground in Builth Wells.

Darren Underwood is ninth overall in the individual standings and Sue Underwood fifth as co-driver.

Elsewhere, Chris Powell and Jim Lewis also enjoyed a good event in their Herefordshire Raceway Sunbeam 1400cc.

Their only issue was a re-occurring problem with the exhaust manifold.

Apart from that, they endured a faultless run, with the crew getting used to the quick asphalt pace.

The team finished 35th overall.

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