In the Cadet Cup for drivers aged 25 and under – a new class for 2018 – were to tackle the infamous Kielder forest. It was Englishman Jordan Reynolds and Welsh co-driver Peredur Wyn Davies who made it first past the post in their Ford Fiesta R2.
Scottish pairing Finlay Retson and Tom Hynd held the advantage early on, winning the first three stages before a faulty oil switch put an end to their run. Swooping onto the first podium of the year was Gunnar Karl Jóhannesson from Iceland and Welshman George Gwynn (Ford Fiesta R2) and Bart Lang and Sinclair Young and the Myerscough University team who brought its Ford Fiesta R2 into third place.
Elsewhere Will Graham and Alex Kihurani joined forces once again. The Anglo-American pairing last sat together on the Mid Wales Stages in 2016 and were pleased to get their year off to a solid start with fourth in the class.
Playing his Joker was Connor Woods in the lone Vauxhall ADAM Cup car. With Chris Corry sat alongside the pair contested their first UK event and dodged the ditches to claim fifth overall while Johnnie Mulholland and Geoff Case rounded out the top six in their Fiesta R2 – banking solid points before their preferred Tarmac surface later in the season.
Fred Field and Josh Davison were getting to grips with their hired Ford Fiesta R2 and were running just outside the top five after the first two stages. Unfortunately a rare mistake by the pairing saw the duo slide of the road into a ditch and an early bath for the 2018 BRC recruits.