Scottish pair survive Kielder for Pirelli success Scottish pairing Gordon Nichol and Jane Nicol scored a maiden success in the inaugural Suzuki Swift Cup as the pair overcame suspension dramas and punctures to take a dominant win on last ...
Scottish pair survive Kielder for Pirelli success
Scottish pairing Gordon Nichol and Jane Nicol scored a maiden success in the inaugural Suzuki Swift Cup as the pair overcame suspension dramas and punctures to take a dominant win on last weekends Pirelli International Rally.
Gordon, a St Boswell based Machine Driver, and rally instructor Jane, whose family home is in Duns but is currently living in Edinburgh, were contesting their first ever International Rally and despite limited testing aboard their brand new Cooks van and car hire backed Suzuki Swift the pair were immediately on the pace.
Based in Carlisle, the Pirelli International featured 4 stages in the dark on Friday night before tackling a further 10 stages on Saturday. A cautious start to the opening stage saw the pairing go fourth fastest, but they improved their position on every stage, despite picking up a pair of punctures on stages 2 and 3. They took their first fastest stage time on the final night time test, the 9 miles of Glen Dhu to claim back some of the lost time from the earlier punctures. The pair returned to the overnight rest lying third in class, but right in the thick of an intense battle with Mark Gamble from England, Irishman Ross Forde and Swedish driver Nick Bjerg.
Despite going fastest on the opening Stage of Saturday the pair lost a lot of time when they were forced to stop and change a puncture mid way through a stage later in the morning. They were also hampered by suspension problems caused by the rough conditions typical of the Kielder forests. However, using his head, Gordon was able to avoid the worst of the trouble whilst still maintaining a rapid pace, taking more stage wins than anyone else en-route to a dominant class win.
What a rough rally. These little cars are only production class and they really took a hammering out there this weekend. We struggled a little bit with the suspension and lost some time with punctures. We were hoping for a top 3 finish, so to take the win is fantastic. Hopefully this will help us attract some backing for the rest of the season, especially as the next round is in our back gardens!
I'd like to say a massive thanks to all the guys at Suzuki for their support and advice, as well as my mechanics and team manager. This sport is a real team effort and without you lot I would never have gotten through the rally.
Gordon and Jane will tackled the Kelso based Jim Clark Rally next, an event which takes place from 23rd to 25th May 2008.
The Jim Clark Rally will also count as the second round of the Suzuki Swift Cup. The winner of the 6 round series, which includes rallies in Scotland, the Isle of Man, Ireland and England, will win a fully funded works drive in a Suzuki Swift Super 1600 on the end of season Wales Rally GB.