Five Ilkley Motor Club crews tackled the testing Riponian Rally on Sunday.

The event, staged by the Ripon Motor Club, was the first round of this year’s ANCC Forest Rally Championship Starting at Thirsk Cattle Market the crews had to tackle the 38 stage miles in the forests above Sutton Bank.

Driver Andy Forrest in the ex-works Vauxhall Nova 1400, Andy and Dave Gibson in their Vauxhall powered MK2 Escort (both backed by Mark Newbould Rally Photography Skipton), Jamie Forrest co-driving in a Mitsubishi Evo 6, Nick Dobson in his Mk2 Escort and Simon Green with co-driver Andrew Thorpe in the Subaru Impreza, made up the Ilkley contingent.

A total of 56 crews started the ten-stage rally in the forests of North Yorkshire and all of them reported that the stages were extremely slippy and worse than driving on the usual snow and ice that this rally usually experiences.

Andy Forrest experienced engine problems with the car not revving over 5,000 revs until the problem was traced to an air filter problem.

Once corrected the car performed well and they ran well on the last three stages to claim second in class and 34th place overall.

Andy and Dave Gibson, in the newly-branded AG Motorsport/Arch Building Supplies Ford Escort, suffered in the treacherous conditions and an off on the second stage punctured a rear tyre costing them over a minute in lost time.

In the afternoon they produced several top-ten stage times to claim 14th place overall and third position in their class.

Co-driver Jamie Forrest, who was partnering Tom Preston, came 11th overall and third in class.

They suffered a big spin on stage five and couldn’t get the car into reverse, and lost two minutes.

Simon Green and Andrew Thorpe had a great day, the Subaru Impreza ran faultlessly and they sustainewd no dmage in finishing 24th overall and eighth in class.

Nick Dobson in the Dobson Construction Escort had a mixed day. Some top-ten stage times in the Mk2 Escort where marred by earlier throttle issues and he had to settle for 25th place and eighth in his class.

The next round of the ANCC Championship with the next round is the Tour Of Hamsterley in April.