Gearbox gremlins halt brave Beebe Nuneaton based Matt Beebe ended one of the most incredible runs of reliability in modern rallying when gearbox gremlins on last weekends International Rally of Yorkshire forced the young rally ace to retire from...
Gearbox gremlins halt brave Beebe
Nuneaton based Matt Beebe ended one of the most incredible runs of reliability in modern rallying when gearbox gremlins on last weekends International Rally of Yorkshire forced the young rally ace to retire from an event for the first time in his illustrious career!
Matt, already a 3 time champion, was on course for not only a class win but overall 2 wheel drive honours when he hit an innocuous rock on the eighth stage of the International Rally of Yorkshire, cracking the gearbox casing and causing all the oil to leak out. Until this unfortunate mishap the service technician, co-driven by Welshman Gareth Roberts in the MG ZR160, had been sitting comfortably inside the top 20 overall. On an event where the long straights, some well over a mile in length, benefit the more powerful cars, this was no mean feat for the underpowered car.
In fact, at first service Matt was trailing only Vessa Mikkola's much more powerful Honda Civic and more importantly was ahead of his closest championship rivals, the works Suzuki's of Lorna Smith and James Wozencroft.
After the engine failure in Ulster we knew our back was against the wall here. The Yorkshire forests are renowned for punishing the less powerful cars and we always knew the MG would struggle. However everything was going according to plan. Only Vessa was ahead of us, and he later retired, which would have given us overall 2wd honours-- not bad against Super 1600's and the quick and nimble little C2R2's.
I saw the rock before we hit it but it looked exactly the same as a thousand other rocks that we'd gone over-- but the moment I heard the bang I knew this was different!
All is not lost for the PIAA and AVO supported, m3motorsport and North Warwickshire and Hinckley College run MG pilot though. Wales Rally GB offers double points, which means that the title is still wide open. However, after the already tight budget was strained with a replacement engine after Ulster the family is now desperately looking for the additional funds required for the grand finale of the 2007 British Rally Championship.