"More Moore" The Quinton Rally, 27th July, 2002 The Quinton Rally saw the fifth round of the TOTAL supported 206 Super Cup return to Wales. 25 competitors fought the battle over 8 stages and 45 miles. With the mileage low compared to recent...
The Quinton Rally, 27th July, 2002
The Quinton Rally saw the fifth round of the TOTAL supported 206 Super Cup return to Wales. 25 competitors fought the battle over 8 stages and 45 miles. With the mileage low compared to recent events and no recce, it was to be a sprint from start to finish with no room for error.
Quickest out of the blocks was Shaun Gallagher, but over the 3 ½ miles of twisty gravel, the top 17 cars were covered by only 10 seconds. Down in 16th and lucky to be in the rally was Chris Moore, after his trailer with the rally car on board came away from his van on route to the start and crashed into Sykes' van. A big spin didn't help his time on the records.
Championship leader Garry Jennings was a mere second behind Gallagher, with Finn Ramanen and Canadian Richard sharing the next second on.
However, S2 saw Patrick top the time sheets after the first run at Crychan and move into the lead overall. This was despite trouble breathing after trying out a new neck brace. Jack Ingleby was a second behind, with Gallagher another two behind that. Chris Moore despite commenting that he was driving like a girl, recorded fourth fastest. Richard Sykes was determined not to have a repeat of his first stage dramas on previous events, but reckoned he was too cautious.
S3, the 3.85 miles of Route 60 saw Chris Moore fastest, three seconds behind event leader Richard, with Jennings a second behind that. Mike Faulkner, having speedily re-shelled his car from his huge accident on the Jim Clark, turned out in immaculate yellow, gained him the Hella Coolbox for the Service Crew. He was fourth equal with Shaun Gallagher on that stage, one further second adrift which moved Shaun into second place, only three seconds off the top spot.
However, Moore's charge continued on Caeo, the first of the two long 8 mile stages. Taking 11 seconds out of Jennings moved him into the lead as previous leader Richard dropped back losing 30 seconds, damaging his wishbone going straight on at a T-junction and the car pulled to the right until the end of the stage. Gallagher moved into second overall, five seconds adrift of Moore with Jennings a further five back. Jack Ingleby was showing well in fourth while Alun Pearson was storming up from a poor seeding to show fifth. Mike Faulkner was 6th, Jazz Nandhra 7th, Richard 8th, Ramanen wasn't faring too well in 9th while Daniel Dunbabin rounded off the top ten at the half way point.
Stage 5, Crychan 2, at 8.60 miles was the longest of the event and Jennings took the stage, with Gallagher 2nd and Chris Moore in 3rd which kept him in the lead overall, despite his throttle sticking open and giving him the most scary four miles of his life. So tight were the competitors at the top of the field that the first ten were split by 13 seconds. Jennings and Gallagher swapped places on the overall leader board, with Jennings starting to close on Moore, the difference now only 2 seconds and a battle royal was in progress.
Chris Moore responded to the pressure and took fastest again on Stage 6, eking one more out of Jennings to make his lead three seconds. Ramanen, with his intercom problems resolved after disconnecting the in-car camera connection, upped to tie second place on the stage with Jennings, while Ingleby, Nandhra and Richard were tying in fourth place only one more second behind that.
Further down the field, Phillippedes appeared on the leaderboard in joint 8th with newcomer, former British Junior Champion, David Wright on his first time out in the 206 Super Cup and Dunbabin rounding out the top ten.
But drama erupted on stage 7, 5.75 miles of the ironically named Halfway. Jennings rolled a mile in, losing a minute and a half and his second place in the process. Ramanen dropped time in Jenning's dust, with Dunbabin off on a square right, losing time getting back on. Both Ingleby and Nandhra didn't make the finish line after accidents, with George Philippedes going off on the same corner as Ingleby which stopped the stage. However, Ingleby's efforts in trying to extricate the Greek netted him the TOTAL Spirit of the Rally Award. Dave Poyser too rolled within sight of Jenning's accident spot but made it to the finish.
Patrick Richard was back in the frame and took fastest despite stalling on a hairpin, and Shaun Gallagher took yet another second place, lucky to make it through the stage after a broken shock absorber caused major handling probs. The lead overall was minimal at 7 seconds with Moore still ahead of Gallagher, but only one second split third place with Faulkner fighting off Ramanen in fourth.
The last stage was a short 4.4 miles and Ramanen took up the gauntlet to set his first fastest time of the day, and move ahead of Faulkner by two seconds. Shaun Gallagher romped home in second place on the stage, but couldn't take enough time off Moore, just closed the gap to 5 seconds still in second. However, as Jennings only finished in 13th place, Gallagher now moves into the championship lead.
Moore consolidated his day with a fourth fastest to stay top of the leaderboard, and taste the champagne for the second time this season. Gallagher has yet another Michelin cap to his collection for second while Ramanen made third overall. Mike Faulkner took a solid place in fourth, while Pat Richard rued his earlier accident and was disappointed with his fifth. Wright took sixth and the Motorsport News award for best improvement on seeding.
Event results and draft championship positions to follow.