Bean defies huge odds to win rally stage

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GOMERSAL’S vastly experienced rally driver Bob Bean won the historic category of the RAC (Roger Albert Clark) rally for the third time in appalling conditions last weekend.

Bob and his navigator Malcolm Smithson in their 1963 Ford Lotus Cortina, finished 17th overall but would have finished much higher but for an unlucky incident.

Bob, who has been rally driving for 51 years, explained: “I was aiming for a top-15 place overall but we had an ‘off’ on Sunday and that put us back to 21st. We came over a brow into a fast right-hander in snow and the throttle stuck wide open so I had to spin off the road.

“The car finished banked and it cost us quite a bit of time but we fought back and got up to 17th.

“Unfortunately conditions were so bad on the final day that they had to cancel the last of the stages.

“When we left Carlisle it was perfectly dry and clear but as we got higher, it got very dark, we had to put headlights on and it started snowing heavily and became treacherous.

“Fortunately we had taken precautions and put snow tyres in our chaser car, so we were able to cope. I have to say that overall the rally was again quite enjoyable.”