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Collingham's George Lepley lights up North Wales in round one of the BTRDA National Rally Championship




It was an eventful weekend of racing for rally star George Lepley, who sits fifth in the overall rankings after the opening round of the BTRDA National Rally Championship.

Lepley, of Collingham, was dealing with the issues presented to him by Storm Ciara as well as the pressures of seven tough stages in Llandudno, North Wales.

The Mitsubishi Evo X, sported by the 22-year-old and his co-driver Tom Woodburn, proved popular among spectators.

CHANCES not punctured: George Lepley, of Collingham, and co-driver Tom Woodburn, pictured taking a corner in North Wales in the opening round of the BTRDA National Rally Championship. Credit: Richard Armon.
CHANCES not punctured: George Lepley, of Collingham, and co-driver Tom Woodburn, pictured taking a corner in North Wales in the opening round of the BTRDA National Rally Championship. Credit: Richard Armon.

And the race ace did not disappoint as he recorded the second fastest overall time in stage one, just 0.1 seconds off the lead.

Lepley dropped 20 seconds behind the lead coming into stage three, Penmachno, the longest of the rally, notoriously known to be the most difficult.

And it lived up to expectations.

George Lepley (left) and Tom Woodburn (right).
George Lepley (left) and Tom Woodburn (right).

Lepley clipped a rock a mile into the route, puncturing a wheel, which forced him to stop and change.

“I was absolutely gutted,” he said. “We dropped a couple of minutes changing the wheel.

“It was a front left puncture and we had 11 miles to go so I had no choice, but (at that point) we needed to focus and keep our head.”

Not disheartened, and, despite a tarmac stage next ­— the first time he had driven the Mitsubishi on that surface ­— he performed well, setting the fastest BTRDA stage time.

George Lepley has formed a partnership with WD-40.
George Lepley has formed a partnership with WD-40.

Stages five and six saw further success, before again clocking the fastest overall time on the final stage, despite a puncture with two miles to go.

Lepley said: “I was delighted to have climbed back up the leaderboard.

“It was such a shame to have got a puncture in stage three.

“But, that’s rallying. We kept focussed and brought back lots of championship points.

“I can’t wait for the Malcolm Wilson Rally in March.

“We showed we had the pace too and we will be back fighting in a few weeks.”

Lepley and Woodburn return for round two on March 14, which takes place in the Lake District.


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