Kielder expert Nick Elliott was the early leader of the Pirelli Carlisle Rally Historic Section, opening up a 30 second adavantage over Joe Price after the opening two stages with Paul Barrett and Matt Robinson close behind. Elliott, a former winner of the Pirelli Historic Rally had his task made somewhat esier when championship leader, Jason Pritchard, retired on the opening test with mechanical problems, this stage also Ben Friend retire with a lack of oil pressure while the second stage claimed Steve Bennett, stuck in one of Kielder’s many ditches and Andy Kelly who rolled his Ford Escort. The cars have a short service halt at Hawkhirst, on the shores of Kielder Water before another two stages complete the event. Price was complaining of a “Dodgy Clutch” and Barrett of brake fade but it didn’t seem to be affecting their times.Adam Milner had a traumatic moment when his Escort’s gear lever came adrift on the opening stage, then the cars fuel pump gave trouble on the next one. Chris Skill’s Escort meanwhile was slowed with sticking brakes.