RALLYING: Grantham duo’s victory puts big budget teams to shame

Behind the wheel, Jamie Elston gets his Subaru Impreza sideways on the way to victory at Blyton Park. Photo: Kev Money

Behind the wheel, Jamie Elston gets his Subaru Impreza sideways on the way to victory at Blyton Park. Photo: Kev Money

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A Grantham rally duo on a tight budget showed the big budget teams how to do it when they triumphed in the Lincoln Green Stages Rally last Saturday.

Driver Jamie Elston and his navigator and father Shaun Ridlington piloted their ageing Subaru Impreza to an impressive victory at Blyton Park Driving Centre near Gainsborough, leaving their nearest rivals in their wake by almost half a minute.

They were amongst a field of nearly 60 teams including 11 other Subarus and two World Rally cars, competing at a venue new to the father and son combination.

Jamie and Shaun faced eight stages of high speed, competitive racing on a mixture of smooth tarmac, broken concrete and slippery farm tracks.

They had a heart-stopping moment on the first stage but Jamie’s quick reactions averted a collision with an out-of-control Mitsubishi Evo X at more than 100mph.

The duo opened up an immediate lead over the field after the opening stage which they held on to despite the Impreza suffering a loose turbo boost pipe, which necessitated a quick repair.

Jamie and Shaun pulled out all the stops for the four afternoon stages and ended up with the outright victory by 27 seconds over pre-race favourite David Tinn.

Despite the confidence -inspiring win, Jamie is unsure about racing next year due to financing the car for the level at which they wish to compete.

They are unsponsored and have to budget £1,000 for each event whilst up against teams with huge backing.

Shaun has to work on the Subaru in his spare time at his Manor Service Centre business.

Shaun said: “I have just kept improving and adapting it over the last six years.

“But we are hampered by costs. Jamie really is a cracking driver and making a lot of people look silly. I just hope someone, somewhere, can help him out.”

Any offers of sponsorship would be welcomed. Contact Shaun on 01476 566610.