Emphatic class win for Beebe Young Nuneaton based Matt Beebe back up his 2005 result by winning his class on the 2006 running of the Jim Clark International Rally. Matt, who has limited experience on tar, brought his Hankook shod MG ZR 160 home...
Emphatic class win for Beebe
Young Nuneaton based Matt Beebe back up his 2005 result by winning his class on the 2006 running of the Jim Clark International Rally. Matt, who has limited experience on tar, brought his Hankook shod MG ZR 160 home a highly creditable 25th overall on a rally that is widely recognised as being a 'power rally', but more importantly he scored maximum points in the Production class 2 wheel drive category after championship rival Justin Dale retired with gearbox gremlins.
Matt, co-driven as usual by the highly experienced Gemma Price, proved once again that the old adage 'to finish first you must first finish' was very true as he drove his own rally, focusing on gaining confidence in the car on the tricky tarmac lanes of South Scotland. With his car loosing out in the power stakes he always knew that Justin would be quicker on these lanes but Matt was superbly positioned to take the points when the Renault driver ran into problems.
Although the Jim Clark Rally allowed unlimited recces on the Thursday and Friday Matt and Gemma did restrict themselves to only two passes over most of the stages. As most of rallies only allow you two passes and Gemma and I are working on developing our own system it wouldn't really benefit us to have 12 runs of this one event and then have to resort to only 2 runs on the Isle of Man again.
The difference in machinery and experience between Matt and Justin Dale showed at the end of Day 1 with Matt nearly 3 minutes behind the ex Peugeot GB works driver. With the North Warwickshire and Hinckley College Motorsport Academy supported MG running faultlessly Matt and Gemma upped the pace on Saturday, although Matt did admit to taking it 'easy' over the notorious jumps on Little Swinton after experiencing a 'big moment' there in 2005 after he took one of them flat out. As a result the pair were perfectly placed when Justin Dale retired 3 stages from the end with gearbox problems.
It's never nice to profit from others misfortunes but I'm pleased with our overall performance this weekend. We are closer to Justin's pace than we were on the Pirelli and now Gemma and I are working on a new pacenote system so I am quietly confident for the Isle of Man.
A couple of heart pounding moments for Matt and Gemma on their way to the finish, when the engine kept cutting out and was down on power, made the champagne ceremony all the more rewarding!
Next up for the pair is the Rally Isle of Man which runs from 3rd to 5th August.