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Hirst edges closer to title after Nicky Grist Stages victory

Top three at the Nicky Grist Stages. Credit: Paul Mitchell Photography

Leader Matthew Hirst has edged closer to the 2022 Motorsport UK Pirelli Ravenol Welsh Rally Championship title after winning the Nicky Grist Stages – Interclub event for the first time.

Having already won the opening three rounds of the series, Hirst and co-driver Declan Dear were once again on unbeatable form, scoring maximum points on the Builth Wells-based event in their Pirelli-shod Delta Salvage Ford Fiesta R5+.

“This is the first time that we’ve ever had a clean run on the Nicky Grist Stages and I’m delighted to come home with victory and maximum points. We were even able to ease off on the last stage because by then there was nothing to gain and everything to lose,” said Hirst.

“The Welsh Championship is looking good for us now, but it’s certainly by no means over. We haven’t won the title yet and we must maintain our focus if we want to bring the title home.”

Dylan Davies enjoyed his best run of the season, collecting second-placed in his Škoda Fabia R5+. Co-driven by Mark Glennerster, the 2019 Welsh champion drove well and, in very hot conditions, came home 1min 20secs behind Hirst.

James Giddings once again finished on the podium after a great run in his Group N Fordpad Mitsubishi Evo 9. Partnered by Lee Taylor, he collected third-place in the overall standings and won the Ravenol Welsh Challenge category.

Robert Wilson was a very close fourth in his Ravenol Mitsubishi Evo 7 and, for the second time this year, won the OnThePaceNote.co.uk supported Welsh Junior category.

Co-driven by Richard Crozier, the youngster was delighted with the result, especially as he felt that, for the first time, the car was working perfectly and he felt comfortable and confident behind the wheel.