HEREFORDSHIRE rally driver Roger Chilman finished third overall after a fine drive in the Roger Albert Clark rally.

This year's event included a Welsh leg for the first time and was based at Brightwells Auction Centre in Leominster where the town welcomed the 100 crews and embraced the rally.

The opening leg saw the two tests on the slippery tarmac of Shelsey Walsh before the real action got underway with 14 miles of Radnor Forest.

Chilman, who had Brian Thomas as his co-driver in an Escort RS1800, blasted through Radnor to set the fastest time and take the lead.

However, the second planned visit darkness was cancelled due to the event running late.

From there, the contest moved to the Epynt ranges area for two tests before returning to Leominster for service to prepare for the long trek north to Carlisle.

Chilman and historic champion Jason Pritchard swapped seconds and Chilman settled into second overnight, with Ross-on-Wye's Steve Bennett in fourth.

The second day featured nearly 100 miles in the Kielder Forestry complex, with fast narrow tracks and plenty of hazards.

Chilman set consistence top six times but struggled with the characteristics of the stages and dropped to fourth.

"I lack experience up here and its a place you really need to know to push hard," said Chilman.

Stage eighty also saw Bennett rolled out from fifth place, although damage to the RS1800 was minimal, too much time had been lose.

Chilman returned to Carlisle in fourth placer, while Theo Bengry and Les Forsbrook, in a Leominster Car Auctions Opel Ascona, experienced mechanical problems and retired on stage 15.

Sunday;s offering moved across the Scottish border for another long day.

It was there that Chilman set three fastest times to take a minute out of third placed Matt Robinson to close the gap to just 14 seconds.

That day saw the leaderboard have a shake-up, with Steve Bannister continuing despite rolling and Rudi Lancaster and Ben Friend retiring.

The final leg featured stages in Falstone and Newcastleton and saw leader Martyn McCormack guide his Escort RS1800 over the line for a 1:44 victory with co-driver Barney Mitchell.

The battle for second place was a tight affair between Chilman and Matthew Robinson.

However it was Robinson and co-driver Sam Collis who used their vast knowledge of the tricky conditions to pull away.

Nevertheless, Chilman was still happy to take third place.

"It couldn't have gone better," he said.

"Its a truly amazing adventure.

"A massive thanks to Brian for keeping me on the straight and narrow and also my sponsors Securcom, Morspan and Pirelli, Meirion Evans at Wales Motorsport for a fantastic car, my mum and dad for doing the support job, the event officials the marshals who do an unbelievable job in all weathers and Brightwells and Leominster Town Council for having the vision to accept the event."