TORRENTIAL rain failed to dampen the spirits of Terry Martin and Mick Pickles on last weekend’s Heroes Stages Rally at Weeton army camp.

Martin, from Blackburn, was co-driving Yorkshireman Pickles for the first time in the ex-David Stubbs Ford Escort.

The pair finished an excellent ninth overall and second in class despite Pickles describing the conditions as ‘the worst I’ve ever seen’.

“The weather was atrocious,” he said.

“But thanks to Terry’s experience and knowledge, he kept me calm and kept me on the road when everyone else was going off.”

And Martin paid tribute to the organisers, Pendle and District Motor Club, for keeping the rally going in the appalling conditions.

He said: “Although they had to stop the event with three stages to go, the marshals did a brilliant job at keeping things going that long.”

Former road rally champion Martin was delighted to get back to winning ways after a disastrous outing on the Pendragon Stages.

Reading the notes for Steve Quigley in his Renault Clio, the pair managed just two miles before retiring. He now has a commanding lead in the SD34 Stage Championship,and is lying second overall in the ANCC Rally Championship.

Accrington’s Steve Johnson, who was also contesting the Heroes Rally, was rueing his choice of vehicle for the Blackpool roads.

“We were in a Nissan Micra when we should have brought a jet ski!” said Johnson, who had daughter Hazel reading the notes.

“We went off on the first stage and clouted a kerb, buckling a wheel, and then the front suspension broke.

“It was impossible to go flat-out, so we limped round until we could get to service and weld it up.”

Despite all the problems, the father-and-daughter team came home 15th overall and second in class.The pair are back in action later this month with Hazel contesting the Adgespeed Stages behind the wheel of the Micra, and Steve out on the Cambrian Rally in the same car a week later.