Strong showing for Rautenbach on Jim Clark Int. Young Zimbabwean Conrad Rautenbach belied his relative lack of tarmac experience by producing a solid performance on this weekends Jim Clark International Rally, round 2 of the 2006...
Strong showing for Rautenbach on Jim Clark Int.
Young Zimbabwean Conrad Rautenbach belied his relative lack of tarmac experience by producing a solid performance on this weekends Jim Clark International Rally, round 2 of the 2006 Tesco 99 Octane MSA British Rally Championship. Conrad brought his Geoff Jones Motorsport Subaru Impreza N12 home in a highly commendable 6th overall in the British Championship standings after 150 miles of tarmac rallying on the special stages around the Scottish town of Kelso. 4th o/a
Conrad, conscious of the fact that this was only his 2nd ever tarmac rally in a 4 wheel drive car, opted for a conservative approach to Friday. Even so Conrad's idea of conservative involved a string of top 20 overall times and he was pleased with his overnight position 14th overall. We took it easy on Friday as I built up confidence in the car and tyres and, seeing how big the cuts that other drivers were taking, its obvious that this is an area we need to work on.
Saturday morning saw Conrad opt for a softer compound of tyres but lost time as the tyres were lacking in grip. With the tyres changed at first service the young Zimbabwean set about making up some of that lost time. Conrad set a couple of top 12 times before really upping his pace as he gained confidence in the car and the tyres. The first run through the rollercoaster ride of Little Swinton saw Conrad post the 9th quickest time in the BRC category, on a stage where commitment is the order of the day. Stage 20, the penultimate stage of the rally, and also the 5th running of the Langton spectator stage saw Conrad really open the taps. 6th amongst the BRC runners showed how adaptable he is to a surface where he lacks experience. The final stage of the rally was a second run through Little Swinton and Conrad's time was a full 7 seconds faster than his first run, good enough to see Conrad and co-driver David Senior return to Kelso with another fantastic result under their belts.
Apart from choosing the wrong tyres for the first run on Saturday morning we had no real dramas and the car ran faultlessly. I need to work on my braking points a bit more as I'm braking way too early still But on the whole I'm happy with how things are progressing.
Conrad now flies back to Africa to begin preparing for the next round of the FIA African Rally Championship, the Zambian International Rally.