Pirelli points for Beebe 4th 2 wheel drive home and 2nd in class bodes well for one of the brightest young people in British Rallying. Young Matt Beebe, co driven by the vastly experienced Gemma Price, brought his little MG ZR180 home in a ...
Pirelli points for Beebe
4th 2 wheel drive home and 2nd in class bodes well for one of the brightest young people in British Rallying. Young Matt Beebe, co driven by the vastly experienced Gemma Price, brought his little MG ZR180 home in a very creditable 24th overall on this weekends Pirelli International Rally, the opening round of the 2006 Tesco 99 Octane British Rally Championship.
Matt attacked the opening stage, hoping to make a solid start to the event, but a wild 5th gear 'moment' which the pair admitted they were 'very lucky' to escape from proved that Kielder is not easily conquered. Despite this loss of time they were not far off Justin Dales times.
A time only 20 seconds slower than Justin Dale, a previous S1600 champion, through the 8.7 mile Rushy Knowe was encouraging for Matt, and beaten Rob Gill in a Group N Subaru Impreza through Stage 3 gave the pair an ego boost.
Stage 4 was the first run through the spectator friendly 'P zero stage' based in Carlisle itself. The opportunity to strut his stuff in front of hordes of casual spectators (as opposed to the die hard fans that flock to the forests!) young Matt tackled the stage with gusto, flying impressively over the yump and soaking photographers with water as he launched through the water splash. His stage time saw him go quicker than Roman Kresta, the official Ford World Rally Team test driver, who was at the wheel of a far more powerful Ford Fiesta S1600!
With only the most basic maintenance needed doing to the car in service Matt and Gemma returned to the forests for the afternoon stages.
Consistent and trouble free runs throughout the afternoon with times not far off Justin Dales Matt was happy with his progress when he returned to the days final service lying in 27th place overall and 4th in the 2 wheel drive category.
Sunday's stages were fairly rough and Matt was now more focused on a finish, along with a solid points score. His times were once more greater than what should have been expected from such a small car and 24th overall was a fine reward for a fine drive.
Although the next round of the British Rally Championship is the Jim Clark Rally in July, Matt will next be competing on his home event, the Rally of the Midlands run over the weekend of 10-11th June, where he will once again be supported by the North Warwickshire College.