Unlucky Thirteen For Pesticcio Bridgend driver Leon Pesticcio was disappointed in his attempt to secure a second successive Super 1600 win on the Tempest Rally when he and co-driver Tim Sturla retired from the Aldershot event at the ...
Unlucky Thirteen For Pesticcio
Bridgend driver Leon Pesticcio was disappointed in his attempt to secure a second successive Super 1600 win on the Tempest Rally when he and co-driver Tim Sturla retired from the Aldershot event at the weekend.
Their entry was a last minute decision and the Hi-Tec run car arrived straight from Rallye Catalunya on Thursday evening. "We were scheduled to test the Punto on Thursday afternoon but it was always going to be tight and we missed the daylight." explained Leon, "We managed to shake the car down after the recce but we didn't get the chance to set the car up properly."
The stages began in the darkness of bonfire night but it was soon clear that Leon and Tim were having difficulties. After the loop of three stages Leon described the problem, "Stage one went OK, but we had intermittent spotlights on two and three which made concentration very difficult." Despite this the pair finished the first leg as second Super 1600 crew, just 15 seconds adrift of the leader.
Day two dawned grey and damp and the Punto duo spent the first two stages trading places with Gareth Jones. Fractions of a second separated them but it was the Bridgend driver who held second place at service. "The car's all over the place, but we're managing to set some decent times," said Leon, "we'll make some changes now and see if we can get a bit closer to Guy (Wilks) on the next loop.
Stages seven to ten saw the car's handling slightly improved and Leon's second position unchanged, but all was not perfect. The alternator was beginning to show signs of wear and despite swapping to a spare battery, the car ground to a halt in unlucky stage thirteen. "I can't believe it," sighed Leon, "The set up was going the right way and the car was feeling great. It's not what I had in mind as a 23rd birthday present."
The crew took solace in knowing that they were 2nd in Super 1600 and 12th overall, heading for a top ten finish on the final round of the British Rally Championship. Although a repeat of their success of 2003 eluded them, they were upbeat about 2005. Leon, "Our plans are not finalised, but you can be sure we'll be back next year. We are currently discussing various options but whatever happens we'll give it our best shot."