STEVE Entwistle has tightened his grip on the HRCR Clubmans Championship after another giant-killing performance.

Entwistle and navigator Bob Hargreaves outshone their higher-powered rivals to claim a brilliant class win and third overall on the St Wilfrid’s Classic Rally.

And the pair, who were in the ex-Roy Mapple Orangebox Mini, were only beaten by a pair of 2-litre Ford Escorts.

“It was one of those days when everything clicked, we didn’t make many mistakes and luck went our way,” said Entwistle.

“Full credit to Bob, who was a star on the maps. The six regularities were very difficult for everyone, but Bob got it spot-on all day.”

The duo didn’t get off to the best of starts, lying 12th after the first two tests and regularity.

But a storming run on three tests, which used an autograss circuit near York, soon pulled them up the leaderboard.

They then survived a lucky escape after flooding on the route.

“It was unbelievable,” added Entwistle. “There was a trough of cement water a foot deep and 70 foot long. The water was over the bonnet of Orangebox, and six inches deep in the footwell, then the engine cut-out.

“At that point Bob was refusing to get out of the car and push, and I thought we’d had it.

“Amazingly, a turn of the key and the engine started again, and we struggled out on three cylinders.”

Entwistle now has a 37 point lead in the series, with three rounds left.

The next round is the Vale of Clywd, based in Mold, on September 6.