GMC Motorsport continued to dominate the 1400cc class by convincingly winning with a margin of over five and a half minutes. The team were totally focused on pulling off this very important win to keep our championship hopes alive even though we...
GMC Motorsport continued to dominate the 1400cc class by convincingly winning with a margin of over five and a half minutes.
The team were totally focused on pulling off this very important win to keep our championship hopes alive even though we had missed the first four events of the season due to the new car not being ready.
With the track dry and cleared of most of the undergrowth our philosophy was 100% from the word go. At Milltown this year we had some stiff competition from regulars Nick Runcie in his mind blowingly powerful Corsa, Scott Crawford in the Nova and the Willis brothers in their Nova with a new 16valve engine, 5 speed dog gearbox and proflex suspension system.
Within four miles of the start Nick had caught and passed us with ease, only for us to come out of a very fast left hander and find Nicks car settling down on all four wheels after a roll. Nick gave us the thumbs up to indicate all was ok and we carried on to complete the 12 Mile stage.Due to the damage to Nick^Òs car he retired from the event.
The following two stages were of a slightly different layout although running in the same direction of the 12 Mile loop.
Our main adversary was now the Vauxhall Nova of the Willis brothers who on stage 1&2 had taken around 20 seconds out of us. We now upped the pace, thinking if we threw the gauntlet down and pulled back the time taken from us on the first two stages, we could be in for a formidable battle. This reminded us of the days we swapped second for second with Martin Farrer and Andy Ward in the Rover Metro just a couple of seasons ago.
We powered on to complete this pair of stages, catching and passing a Peugeot 106 GTI and a VW Scirrocco. On examining the car at service the front tyre temperatures were so hot that we could not put our hands on them for more than a few seconds, just showing that the Michelin rubber was doing its job.
By the lunchtime break we had a formidable lead of over three minutes and with the Willis brothers were having gearbox problems our lead was gradually increasing.
Our previous car the Vauxhall Nova was also competing at Milltown, and was having its own battle with the Skoda of Davie Walker. Unfortunately, the Skoda retired due to being over time limit during gearbox repairs in service and put him up to third place with the Willis^Ò in second and ourselves leading the class.
The penultimate two stages were probably our best two of the day with very little traffic to hinder our run. We carried on and completed these two stages with no problems to report and in a very competitive time.
During service we noted that we were over five minutes ahead of the nearest class 1, 1400cc car which was our old Vauxhall Nova being driven by Richard Spark, the Willis brothers had retired on the last stage due to suspension trouble.
This meant that the final stages of day were to be a cautious run with no silly mistakes jeopardising our first in class.
The only excitement came when Robin Hamilton in his MG Metro 6R4 caught and passed us on a long straight, and we then decided to see if we could keep up with the 2500cc 4 wheel drive machine. Amazingly and unexpectedly, we were able to compete with this Group B rally supercar through the tight twisting chicanes of Milltown. At one point we were even backing off to avoid colliding with the 6R4 !! Not suprisingly though, once back on the straight, the superior power of the 6R4 allowed it to disappear into the horizon.
At the end of the day we picked up our well-deserved trophies and points at the prizegiving ceremony and also applauded our old Novas second in class. Just goes to show that GMC MOTORSPORT`s build and reliability is second to none.
With us back leading the class in the Scottish Championship going into our next event the Cheviot stages at Otterburn on the 20th October the car will undergo some minor tweaks and development to go full tilt at Otterburn once again. We now look forward to some very close battles with the Willis brothers in the near future.
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