Melvyn Evans awaits Protyre Asphalt maximum points as Hills Ford Three Shires results are delayed

Melvyn Evans looks set to extend his lead in the Protyre Motorsport UK Asphalt Rally Championship after scoring what might be maximum points on the Hills Ford Three Shires Stages Rally.

Due to technical issues, the event has delayed publishing the provisional results until all the stage times have been checked and confirmed, and no Championship points can be awarded until the event results are final.

But unofficially it looks like Melvyn has followed up his outright win on The Old Forge Garage Mewla Rally with another 30 point score on the Cheltenham Motor Club-organised closed road event.

Like all crews, he and co-driver Mark Glennerster were caught off guard by the positioning of chicanes – the Melvyn Evans Motorsport Škoda Fabia R5+ sustaining front damage after hitting two misplaced straw bale chicanes on the opening loop of stages.

Luckily, Melvyn was able to continue and on an extremely hot day he pushed on hard to finish what looks likely to be third position overall.

Mark Kelly/Neil Colman enjoyed a tremendous run in their Flext-backed Ford Fiesta R5+ to finish what we think will be second in the Protyre Asphalt Rally Championship, while Damian Cole/Andrew Roughead look set to come home third in their Get Connected/TCL-backed Fabia R5+.

Craig Jones/Shaun Layland were flying over the closed lanes of Gloucestershire, Herefordshire and Worcestershire in their RHL Mitsubishi Evo 9 and look set for a great result.

It will be interesting to see where the Hopkins Race Transporters brothers of Oliver and Philip Hopkins finish, as both had fantastic runs.

Philip was flying in his Mitsubishi Evo 6 and despite a visit to a ditch on the penultimate stage he and co-driver Dave Jenkins looked on course for a wonderful result.

There was also late drama for Oliver and co-driver Ian Taylor with a slipping clutch in their Mitsubishi Mirage R5+, although they reached the finish after what looked to be an extremely good day.

There were several retirements, most notably Jason Pritchard/Phil Clarke who stopped their North Road Garage Ford Fiesta S2000 with a severe engine misfire shortly after the watersplash on SS11.

John Stone/Rhys Stoneman broke what they suspect was the rear differential leaving the start line of SS1 in their Legend Fires-backed Ford Fiesta WRC.

Stephen Simspon/Patrick Walsh had an early bath too, after their Tudor Glass Ford Fiesta R5+ lost its all-important third gear on SS3.

A full report will be issued when the Hills Ford Three Shires Stages Rally results are published.

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