SCOTCH Corner driver Tony Bardy looked set for a rostrum placing in his first rally for more than nine months when he crashed out within sight of the finish on the 35th Tour of Mull.

The Nissan Sunny GTi-R driver and his Richmond co-driver Reg Smith overcame gearbox problems on the Friday night stages to gradually climb the leaderboard throughout Saturday.

But halfway through the final stage in the early hours of Sunday morning, the former British Rallycross champion slid wide at a hairpin and was unable to rejoin.

Another Richmond crew were also out of luck when former BTRDA champions Mark and Andy Constantine were forced out with a broken crank pulley at the final service on Saturday night.

The brothers were making their comeback after a year out in which they have built a Vauxhall Corsa and, despite a lowly seeding of 80, they soon had the car inside the top 20 with some superb driving.

However, any hopes they had of claiming a class win and prized top ten placing were dashed when the car refused to start after no apparent problems entering the service area at Craignure.

They had to sit out the final three stages, but the pair had impressed on their island debut.

Thirsk's Andy Chandler and Matty Fox retired from the main event in their Ford Escort, but entered Saturday night's Trophy Rally to claim ninth overall and a class win, while Saltburn brothers Ian and Neil Colman retired their Nissan when well placed on Saturday afternoon.

* Mark Leybourne of Darlington has completed his first season of sprinting and hill climbing in the Westfield Sports Car Club Speed series.

He is very pleased with his results, having finished 27th out of 125, fourth (by default) in a class of 28, and recorded one class win.

Leybourne competed in the novice 1800cc road-going class using a 1600cc Pinto-engined Westfield 7 which he has owned for two years and ended up 27th overall out of 125 competitors who entered the series.

He drove his car to all the rounds he competed in, which were in various parts of the country, the more local events being at Croft, Harewood House near Leeds, and Oliver's Mount in Scarborough.

Leybourne was let down at the beginning of the season when a proposed sponsorship deal failed to materialise, but would like to thank Mark Cranshaw, Martin Knight of Rapid Results, Neil Suggit of Champion Spark Plugs and Del Johnson of Kent Cams for their assistance during the year.

* Darlington & District Motor Club Ltd will once again host the ANECCC Winter Rallycross Championship on behalf of the Association of North East & Cumbrian Car Clubs.

With classes for all rallycross cars and a rally car category, the championship will start at Blyton in Lincolnshire on December 12. Round two will be at Croft circuit on January 30, returning to Blyton on February 13 before finishing at Croft on March 6.

Regulations for the championship are now available from Darlington & DMC, 98 Ravensdale Road, Darlington DL3 8DU.

* Barnard Castle's Mark Thompson and co-driver Giles Dykes were competing on the Harold Palin Memorial Stages at Manby, Lincolnshire in their Williamson Motors-backed Peugeot 206 last weekend.

The event comprised the seventh and final round of the Kent Cams single venue championship and it started very well for the pair, who posted sixth fastest time on the opening stage.

Stage two was cancelled after an accident, meaning Thompson was awarded a nominal time, and on SS3 the pair were held up by a car which had gone off the road.

The resulting time loss dropped them to seventh overall, but they made up some ground on SS4. Stage five included a lot of gravel and the decision was made to go out on tarmac tyres to try and make up some of the time that had been lost.

All was going to plan until Thompson came across Northallerton driver Kevin Procter's Ford Puma Evo 4x4, which had slid off into a ditch.

Even with Procter trying to slow the cars down at the side of the road, Thompson slid on the wet mud and just missed hitting the Puma, unlike a number of other competitors who ploughed into the luckless bus driver's stricken car.

Thompson managed to reverse out, but more disaster was awaiting as they passed Procter's car on the second loop when they collided with another car which was also reversing out in a similar situation.

Despite a minor collision, Thompson carried on with only minor damage and, with a superb effort through the final three stages, the pair hoisted themselves up to fourth overall and just one second adrift of third place.

l Rounds eight and nine of the 2004 MSA British Rallycross Championship took place at Mondello Park in County Kildare last weekend with local drivers again well to the fore.

Citroen Saxo driver Adrian Horsley from Redcar retained his overall lead in the BRDA Rallycross Championship after taking a third place and a win from the two Irish events.

Having already put his name to the Stock Hatch class title, Horsley worked hard for his results at Mondello Park, where Chester driver Jamie Lea became the first driver to beat Horsley this year.

Horsley's closest rival in the BRDA title race was Minicross champion-elect John Binks from Gosforth (BMW Mini), who closed the gap to the series leader to just five points after taking his sixth win of the year in round eight.

Binks almost added a seventh win, but was passed on the last lap of round nine by Danny Budd from Aylesbury, who collected his third win of the season.

Northallerton's Dave Bellerby took a brace of victories in the SuperModified class in his venerable Vauxhall Nova to move up to fourth place overall in the championship standings. Courtesy of a fifth place finish in the Superfinal, he also holds on to third place in the MSA British Championship.

Bellerby, who will lead the English challenge at the forthcoming Inter Nations Cup at Croft, is also the best two-wheel drive car in the standings.

Hot on his heels is Hartlepool driver Des Wheatley, who brought his Rover Metro home in sixth position in the Superfinal and also followed his rival across the line in both SuperModified races to maintain his championship challenge.

* Yarm racing driver Bill Addison rounded off the 2004 season in style after a successful time at the Caterham Festival held at Brands Hatch in Kent last weekend.

Having qualified in tenth place for the Caterham Roadsports B class, Addison finished fifth in race one as less than a second covered the top 17 cars, before going one place better in the second outing of the weekend.

He was unlucky to miss out on a podium place after holding third for much of the race.

As a result, Addison moved up to fifth in the final championship standings and is now looking to finalise a budget in order to move up to the Blue Riband Caterham R400 Championship for 2005.