McCLOSKEY OVERCOMES EARLY SCARE FOR THIRD Northern Ireland's Connor McCloskey and Crawford Henderson took third place in the Mitsubishi Evolution Challenge on last weekend's Jim Clark International Rally despite losing a brake caliper early...
McCLOSKEY OVERCOMES EARLY SCARE FOR THIRD
Northern Ireland's Connor McCloskey and Crawford Henderson took third place in the Mitsubishi Evolution Challenge on last weekend's Jim Clark International Rally despite losing a brake caliper early in the event.
The Fisher Foundation Young Driver Award winner went to the event, also the second round of the British Rally Championship, hoping to improve on his third place in 2005, but was pleased just to finish after clipping a kerb on stage five of the 21 stage rally. "We'd been taking it relatively easy," said Connor, "but a downhill square right was more slippery than we expected and the back end slid wide. It caught the back left wheel on the kerb and the impact bent the suspension and broke the brake caliper."
The crew stopped to assess the damage but a spectator waved them on before they had chance to get out. "He shouted that the wheel was still on and it wasn't that far from the stage finish so we carried on." explained Crawford. "We had a chance to assess the damage at the end but Connor had already realised that the brakes had almost completely gone. We made what repairs we could and limped through the last stage before Davy Greer's lads could fix it at service."
After losing nearly three minutes the team was dejected but with 100 miles left they sat off into Saturday's stages with a determination to get to the finish. "The car was crabbing al over the place after the boys had replaced the rear suspension but they sorted it at first service on Saturday." said Connor, "I just kept thinking that it could have all been over and that Saturday was a bonus."
At the second service on Saturday the mechanics were busy again changing the propshaft and brakes. The long ford in the Whiteadder stage had cooled the brake discs so they warped with the change in temperature. "The propshaft is just one of those things," shrugged Connor, "It was just ready for changing!"
By the end of Saturday the crew had climbed twenty places, finishing 24th overall and third in the Evo Challenge. The result has maintained their third place in the challenge championship standings and left them a lucky thirteenth overall in the British Rally Championship with only two rounds down.