Evans breaks Jim Clark Rally duck in style A delighted Gwyndaf Evans and Chris Patterson broke their Jim Clark International Rally duck in style this weekend, taking victory on the all asphalt third round of the Dulux Trade MSA British Rally ...
Evans breaks Jim Clark Rally duck in style
A delighted Gwyndaf Evans and Chris Patterson broke their Jim Clark International Rally duck in style this weekend, taking victory on the all asphalt third round of the Dulux Trade MSA British Rally Championship.
The fifty year old Welshman proved he still has the hunger for victory by bouncing back from a double puncture on Saturday evening, the 1996 British Rally Champion also surviving a high speed moment on Saturday afternoon. At the finish in Duns he offered his thanks to a strategically placed telegraph pole, which while damaging the rear of his JR Motorsports Mitsubishi Evo 10, helped keep both car and crew on the road at around 100 mph.
While Evans was the eventual victor, four different drivers led the event throughout its 130 miles of ultra fast asphalt. First blood went to Craig Breen and Gareth Roberts who had proved their ability in the Fiesta S2000 on the previous round in Cumbria, topping the time sheets in the fantastic Duns town centre spectator special stage.
Reigning BRC champ Keith Cronin had other ideas though, and along with Barry McNulty set about showing their pace in the Pirelli TEG Sport Impreza on the technical Abbey St Bathans stage. Breen responded, but Cronin held him off with a repeat of Abbey, although all his good work was undone in the darkness of the final test. Cronin clipped a bank, losing a spotlamp and puncturing his left front wheel, leaving Breen to hold an overnight lead of a whisker under thirteen seconds.
It was a lead he would not relinquish until the tenth stage when reports came in from the stages that he was stopped with a sick engine. This was confirmed as terminal and the youngster recorded his second none finish of the season, obviously very disappointed.
Another Irish youngster tipped for BRC victory inherited the lead from Breen, Alastair Fisher, ably guided by double British Rally Champion Rory Kennedy, was sadly unable to hold of the advances of a charging Evans. Fisher managed to keep the eventual winner within his grasp on stage eleven, less than half a second splitting the pair, but a misfire put paid to Fishers hopes and although disappointed, [AUDIO] he equalled his best ever result, taking second from a distant Cronin in third.
A delighted Jonny Greer and Dai Roberts took fourth and with it extend their lead of the Dulux Trade MSA British Rally Championship by one point from Evans and Patterson, who have now had back-to-back perfect scores.
DULUX TRADE MSA BRITISH TEAMS RALLY CHAMPIONSHIP
With Evans taking twenty Teams points, Icelandic brother and sister crew Daniel SigurÃo.arson/Ã^Asta SigurÃo.ardÃ"ttirâ^a^Ùs broke their own tarmac duck with seventh place behind Jason Pritchard/Robbie Durant and Adam Gould/Dave Robson. It netted a healthy haul for JR Motorsports and has opened a gap of eighteen points to reigning champions Pirelli TEG Sport.
The Lancastrian outfit had a difficult event since, coupled with Croninâ^a^Ùs puncture, local talent Euan Thorburn/Paul Beaton did not even make it to the start. Their similar Impreza developed an engine problem on Friday morningâ^a^Ùs shakedown, which whilst ultimately repaired, it took hours to fully diagnose, leaving him as a reluctant spectator.
Ramsportâ^a^Ùs single car entry of Dave Weston Jnr and Ieuan Thomas promised to be amongst the leading pack with some excellent stage times. But a failing gearbox cost them heaps of time and while the team replaced both gearbox and rear differential in double quick time, the crew was left in eight place and third in the Teams table.
DULUX TRADE MSA BRITISH JUNIOR RALLY CHAMPIONSHIP
Elfyn Evans pulled another point clear of Jarkko Nikara at the head of the Junior Championship battle with a sensible third place in the category. But while Nikaraâ^a^Ùs fellow Fin Mikko Pajunen remained on his own in fifth, two Irishmen now tie for third on fifty points apiece. Robert Barrable had an excellent Jim Clark Rally, taking top two wheel driver honours and maximum Junior points to lock with his Northern Irish Citroen rival Mark Donnelly.
PIRELLI STAR DRIVER
While Craig Breen may have taken an early bath, he was given some good news as the rally finished; although on his way back to Ireland, he became only the second driver to receive the Pirelli Star Driver yellow jersey twice, having been nominated on the Pirelli Rally in 2009. The nomination adds his name to those of Pajunen and Evans junior for a chance to take part in the end of season shootout.
DULUX TRADE MSA BRITISH RALLY CHAMPIONSHIP CLASSES & CUPS
Alastair Fisher took some consolation for missing out on overall victory by taking top spot in the Mitsubishi Ralliart Evolution Challenge, but it is still Greer who took second, extending his lead the series along with the Dulux Trade MSA British Rally Championship.
Worthy of note in the Rally 4 class are two privateers both driving Subarus; Alan Cookson and Julian Wilkinson survived a monumental thump in their distinctive cow liveried car, (nicknamed Muriel) clouting a bank side-on, but still made it into the top ten for the second event in their debut season. Another 2010 BRC debutant Max Utting and co-driver Ken Bowman were inside the top ten in the Rally 4 class on their first Jim Clark Rally in their older specification car.
The 2010 Rally 3 class and the Fiesta SportTrophy must now be within Welsh crew Evans junior and co-driver Andrew Edwardsâ^a^Ù grasp as they took maximum points in both on the Jim Clark Rally. [AUDIO] Scots pairing John Boyd and Craig Wallace are their nearest rivals in the FST having had a solid and trouble-free rally, while leading Diesel Rally Cup brothers Steve and Tony Graham are second in the R3 class, relieved to have had upgraded front brakes for the tarmac.
Heading the Rally 2 class and Citroen Racing Trophy were Barrable and co-driver Damien Connolly [AUDIO] from Donnelly and Niall Burns, both crews reporting trouble free runs in their identical C2R2 Max Citroens. Positions in the points table follow places as the crews head across the water for the next round of the Irish Citroen series.
The BRCâ^a^Ùs Rally 2 class is dominated by French cars and it is Finnish newcomer Nikara who leads in a Renault Twingo with brother and fellow BRC novice Petri Nikara alongside. They had an excellent second-ever asphalt rally, learning stage by stage, but were beaten to third on the event by fellow Fins Matti Rantanen/Mikko Lukka in a similar car.
The Swift Sport Cup has been dominated by Pirelli Star Driver nominee Pajunen and despite this being his first ever asphalt event, he and Janne Perala took victory in the one-make series, needing just one more win to secure the 2010 title. Their learning curve was made steeper when they struggled with rear brakes on Saturday, but with typical Finnish modesty the youngster shrugged it off, reporting it as part of the experience. [AUDIO]
The next event in the Dulux Trade MSA British Rally Championship is International Rally Isle of Man which takes place on Friday 9th and Saturday 10th of July and is based at the islandâ^a^Ùs world famous TT grandstand.
Coverage of the Jim Clark International rally will be broadcast a day later than usual because of the bank holiday in the UK, appearing on Sky Sports 4 at 19:00 on Tuesday 1stHERE. Full results can be found HERE. June. Full Sky Sports listings are