A top-three finish for Kris Meeke and Cetinkaya's first points. The second RAC Rally of Scotland, which was also the penultimate round of the 2010 Intercontinental Rally Challenge, proved (too) rich in drama for many of the Peugeot 207 S2000 ...
A top-three finish for Kris Meeke and Cetinkaya's first points.
The second RAC Rally of Scotland, which was also the penultimate round of the 2010 Intercontinental Rally Challenge, proved (too) rich in drama for many of the Peugeot 207 S2000 runners. Kris Meeke nonetheless finished in the top three, while the young Burcu Cetinkaya notched up her first IRC points.
A handsome early lead for Kris Meeke before being knocked back by a puncture.
The weekend started well for Kris Meeke whose Peugeot 207 S2000 Evolution succeeded in building up a lead of almost 20 seconds in just four stages.
"As expected, my biggest rivals were Guy Wilks and Juho Hanninen but I managed to catch them napping."
The Peugeot UK driver's joy was to be short-lived, however, since he went on to pick up a puncture shortly after the start of SS5.
"The road was cambered and the slope dragged me onto the verge coming out of a left-hand turn. I didn't feel any impact but I realised that my rear- right tyre was completely flat when I attempted to brake a kilometre further on..."
The British driver completed 16km on the rim, dropping practically a minute and falling to fourth place. During the afternoon, a broken brake calliper, perhaps a knock-on effect of the morning's incident, forced him to complete the loop without rear brakes. His acrobatic skills and the balance of his 207 S2000 enabled him to limit the damage, but he still ended the day down in fourth spot behind the sister car of Belgium's Thierry Neuville who was up to third despite this being his first taste of the British forests. "Tomorrow, my aim will be to close the gap to Thierry and finish on the podium," promised the 2009 IRC champion.
Thierry Neuville caught out with the finish in sight, while Burcu Cetinkaya completes the gruelling event in the points.
Sunday morning's action saw the Ulsterman's task facilitated by the two incidents that befell the young Peugeot Belgium-Luxemburg driver, namely a puncture on the day's opener (SS9) followed by an off on the final corner of the rally's longest stage which was being televised live by Eurosport!
"The long 29km test was particularly slippery and treacherous," related Neuville. "My notes weren't perfect but we had practically reached the finish when I left my braking too late for a hairpin. My car went into a sideways slide but there was hardly any grip to slow us before the turn. We slipped into the ditch and our wheels dug into the mud, which sent us into a roll. The Peugeot is a very strong car and - with the exception of the windscreen - there was no damage. Unfortunately, though, there weren't enough spectators around to get us back on the move."
Another Peugeot driver who has been familiarising herself with the IRC this year is Burcu Cetinkaya who produced a consistent, well-paced run which was rewarded by a points finish.
"That was one of the toughest and most instructive events I have ever contested," reported the Peugeot Turkey driver after completing the distance in seventh place. "I am very happy, and very proud to have reached the finish."
The last round of the 2010 IRC will take teams to Cyprus on November 4-6.