Beebe takes a battering on Ulster Young Nuneaton based rally driver Matt Beebe had a panel bashing introduction to the Philip White Tyres Ulster Rally, round 4 of the Tesco 99 Octane 2006 British Rally Championship, after making ...
Beebe takes a battering on Ulster
Young Nuneaton based rally driver Matt Beebe had a panel bashing introduction to the Philip White Tyres Ulster Rally, round 4 of the Tesco 99 Octane 2006 British Rally Championship, after making personal acquaintance with a solid wall on Stage 2. Despite this Matt and co-driver Gemma Price still leave Ireland tied for the championship lead of their class.
With this being Matt's first attempt at the event he and Gemma were expecting the unexpected but after their recent success on the Rally Isle of Man, where they won their class, confidence in the team was on a high.
After the recce Matt was surprised at how technical the event actually was but was still relishing the action getting under way. Once more Matts' benchmark would be the rapid Justin Dale in his Renault Clio Ragenotti but their battle would be postponed after stage 1 was cancelled.
Thus Stage 2 was to be the first competitive stage of the event, although for Matt and Gemma it would be one they won't be forgetting in a hurry. During the recce Matt had underestimated the speed of the stage and thus did not think they would be jumping over certain crests. Half way through the stage the little MG ZR160 took off over a jump, landed sideways on the next crest, and for a brief moment it looked like the pair would get away with just a big spin but then they met a solid rock wall! We totally underestimated the speeds and crests and as we came over the crest foot flat the car took off and I knew we were in for a wild ride!
Although the front end of the MG was pretty badly damaged Matt was able to limp out of the stage and nurse the car back to service, where the experienced mechanics from m3motorsport descended on the car. Although Matt was able to return to the stages for the second loop the pair were conscious of possible engine damage from the impact and so nursed the car through the afternoon before the mechanics could have a more in depth look at the car at the days final service.
Due to the nature of the accident the team was concerned that the loss of water from the engine could have possibly led to terminal engine failure and so, in an effort to keep their championship hopes alive they decided to utilise 'super rally', so although Matt re-started on Saturday morning he did not contest any stages, due to overheating and several fuse failures, allowing him to be classified as a finisher and claim valuable championship points.
It's not the way we wanted the rally to go, and it certainly would have been nice to have done some more mileage but that's just how it goes. Now we have the gravel to look forward to and I'm confident we'll go well on the next 2 rounds.
With 2/3rds of the 2006 Championship gone Matt is now tied for the lead with the highly experienced Justin Dale and its all to play for on the final 2 rounds.
The next event is the International Rally of Yorkshire on the 7th of October.