A HEREFORDSHIRE rally enthusiast proved that dedication pays off after winning his first rally for over 30 years.

Nigel Mee, from Leominster, won his first rally in 1985 but has had to wait over 30 years to take top spot with current co-driver John Fellowes in their Subaru Impreza.

They tasted success at the recent Cheltenham Motor Club Get it Sideways Rally.

However, the pair's win wasn't completely straight forward as on stage one the exhaust system decided to part company completely from the manifold making it extremely difficult to carry on using the anti-lag in case of fire.

The opening stage was also incredibly treacherous and unforgiving with sheet ice, where an overshoot at a chicane caught the pair out but thankfully no damage incurred.

A quick repair in service with wire around the gearbox to help hold up the exhaust was then checked by the noise marshal and a decibel reading of 99 was gladly received.

Stage two was much smoother for the Herefordshire driver who posted the fastest time by four seconds.

With the roads drying out for stage four the pair went on to slicks, but unfortunately got caught out at the water splash, resulting in spin requiring a three point return.

The pair maintained their pace for the rest of the event to take the lead.

With the powerful escorts getting closer and with the drying out of the stages a stroke of fortune with a rain shower dented their charge.

That gave the Herefordshire driver a healthy lead allowing them to coast home on the last stage without any dramas.

Other Herefordshire Motor Club members competing were Dean Davies/Cameron Wheatley in an Escort RS who finished 7th in class and 15th O/A

Adrian Griffiths/Karolina Kunigiskyte in a Renault Clio retired with alternator problems and also

Joe Piggott/BenWilliams in a Citroen Saxo who unfortunately did not finish but at one point were inside the top 10 until a driveshaft put them out.