Stanley Orr In MSA British Historic Series Hunt after Fine Fourth in Carlisle!

May 21, 2014 by Andrew Bushe  

Killinchy’s Stanley Orr and co-driver Brian Cairns have put themselves right in the Mintex MSA British Historic Rally Championship hunt after a fabulous fourth overall and first in class finish on the Pirelli Rally in Carlisle last weekend. The pair in their MK Transport MK1 Escort RS2000 matched their result from the opening round, the Mid Wales Stages and Stanley now lies third overall in the driver’s championship, just two points shy of leader David Stokes in his MK1 Escort BDA.

Stanley, a motor mechanic by trade, made a return to rallying last year after over twenty year’s absence and won the Northern Ireland Historic Rally Championship, showing that he hadn’t lost his talents from his semi-professional days in the 80’s. It was then that the County Down man achieved some marvellous feats, such as winning the Galloway Hills Rally outright in a production based Group 1 Escort against the more powerful Group 4 cars. Now history is repeating itself, as although Stanley’s Dave Brooks Pinto engine is putting out a healthy 200 horse power that is a good 50-60 horsepower behind the BDAs that he’s now swopping times with!

Never one to boast about his performances however, Stanley is aiming to complete the series providing the finances hold out. “I am really enjoying the sport this time around, even more than I did all those years ago” comments Stanley. “The Historic class is extremely competitive and those British Championship events provide excellent competition.” The famous Kielder forests were used last weekend and the team soon got into full swing after a tawdry start. “I didn’t feel that I drove very well on the first two stages, and felt that I made more mistakes than in the past season! I just couldn’t get it to flow, and the surface was very loose in places, but on the third stage it started to click a little more.”

Indeed on stage three they were third fastest overall right in amongst the leading BDA’s, and they repeated the feat on the next test, hauling the Kumho shod Escort up to fourth, and engaging in a battle with championship leader David Stokes in his BDA MK1. It wasn’t totally straight-forward either for Stanley and Brian, as a misfire which came into the MK1 on the Circuit of Ireland was plaguing them, and a clutch release bearing was sticking, affecting their stage starts. It was a learning experience too on these fast stages, and although Stokes nipped in front on the final stage, they still claimed fourth and a commanding class win at the finish, the leading car having an issue at post-event scrutiny. There were no such problems for the County Down team however, the MK1 receiving the seal of approval from the eligibility scrutineer. Now there is a gap to round three of this nine round series, which is the RSAC Scottish Rally on June 28th

“I didn’t think that we would be anywhere in the hunt overall for the title. There are two dropped scores to come into play, and we have budgeted only to contest seven rounds, so we can’t afford a problem or a mistake. We may have to review all that and try to find the budget to contest at least another round, but at least this break gives us time to re-prepare the car” explains Stanley. Can an 8 valve Pinto engined MK1 really be match for the powerful 16 valve MK2’s? The next few rallies will tell as the West Wales Rally Spares backed team also switch to tarmac for the Ulster and Manx rallies. With an Historic category win under their belt on the Circuit of Ireland, their form on the sealed surfaces is also very good.

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