Currie and co-driver Steven Brown got their event off to a great start, setting fastest time in the long Langdale stage ahead of 2017 title winner Sam Bilham.
Bilham’s hopes of rounding off his year with another win were dashed in stage two, Staindale, when a misfire caused him to stop for over five minutes: “We had to pull over but we got going again eventually, albeit at reduced pace. We rectified the problem in service but we’d lost too much time so just went out to enjoy ourselves. It’s a slightly disappointing way to end the season but we achieved what we wanted to this year with the championship win, that’s the main thing.”
Currie maintained his leading position in Staindale but it was Richard Wells and Calvin Houldsworth who were quickest in the stage, moving up to second on the Fiesta leaderboard.
Going into the last stage, in the notoriously tough Dalby forest, it was all to play for as Currie led Wells by just 5.2 seconds. In a very dramatic finish Wells beat Currie by exactly 5.2 seconds which meant that the two crews ended on the same time, Currie being classed as the victor on a tie-break ruling which gave him second overall in the championship and the prize of using a Castrol-backed Fiesta R2 on Wales Rally GB.
“It was a great end to my first year in the woods,” said Currie. “We have chased this result through the season. We struggled a bit early on as we were catching cars and losing time behind them. I’m delighted to get the win and the Rally GB prize drive.”
Despite losing out on the tie-break Wells was pleased with his result: “I really enjoyed the day. We had a steady start in Langdale which meant we had a big challenge to try and overhaul Ally for the rest of the event. We almost got there. The car ran faultlessly all day and I’m pleased I was able to bring the battle right down to the wire.”
Finishing third of the DMACK ST Trophy crews was Jon Ambler and Simon Jones who were challenging for third place on the end of season leaderboard.
“We didn’t push too hard as we were focussed on the championship,” commented Ambler. “In a rough and muddy rally it was nice not to have to take risks. We brought the car home with no issues or moments and it was very satisfying to get third after our retirement on the Nicky Grist Stages. Thanks to the organisers for a really enjoyable championship.”
Tom Easson and Abi Haycock were fourth: “We had a good run, we started strong but the second stage was a bit messy. I built confidence throughout the event and the times were improving. I made a couple of mistakes in Dalby which cost us some time but I still finished well which I’m happy with.”
After his problems in stage two Bilham finished in fifth place with the other Fiesta entrant, Martin Laverty, having to retire following a troublesome day which included power steering issues and an overheating engine.
Please visit www.sttrophy.co.uk or www.facebook.com/fiestasttrophy for more information on the DMACK ST Trophy.