Wood leads after dramatic Argyll Rally opening leg

Steve Wood/Dale Bowen lead the Protyre Motorsport UK Asphalt Rally Championship contenders after a dramatic opening leg of the Dunoon presents Argyll Rally.

The City East Ford Fiesta RS WRC crew head into the overnight halt second overall, just two seconds ahead of Neil Roskell/Andrew Roughead.

However, the ND Civils/Collins Construction Ford Fiesta R5+ crew lost over 10 seconds on the opening stage when a combination of cold Michelin tyres and a greasy Dunoon town centre surface saw him skid off on the road.

David Henderson/Chris Lees have started their Protyre Asphalt campaign well and go to bed third in their Michelin-shod Keco/PAR Petroleum backed Ford Fiesta Rally2.

John Stone/Tom Woodburn are very much in the fight for maximum points, despite losing the intercom on the long 14 mile night time Otter Ferry stage in their Legend Fires Volkswagen Polo GTI R5 – a situation made all the worse by a sudden and heavy shower of rain.

Brad Cole/Jamie Vaughan were the top Ford Escort Challenge and class B13 crew overnight in their 2.5-litre Smith & Jones powered Hydroline Solutions Escort Mk2.

Darren Atkinson and co-driver Phil Sandham (who was celebrating his birthday today) were second, despite having to complete SS4 with oil on the windscreen of their Atkinsons Sandblasting/S&W Fabrication-backed Escort Mk2, which came from another car.

Mark Kelly has appeared to have gone off on the fourth and final stage of Leg 1. He and co-driver Will Atkins are okay and we await reports on the damage to their Michelin-shod and Roccia/Tile Master-backed Ford Fiesta R5+.

Also on the Leg 1 list of retirements are Chris Ford/Matthew Daniels (Ford Fiesta Rally2), Antony Allery/Mark Runciman and Peter Jackson/Paula Swinscoe (both Escorts).

The Argyll Rally continues in daylight on Saturday, with two runs over the Glendaruel (5.10 miles), Bealach Maim (4.93 miles), Loch Fyne (6.45 miles) and Whistlefield (3.33 miles) stages before the finish in Dunoon Stadium at around 16:45.

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