Tough start in France for young Irish rally driver. Irish rally driver Shaun Gallagher began a new challenge this weekend when he took part in round 1 of the French Peugeot 206 Cup, the Rallye Lyon- Charbonnieres-Rhone. The rally was a ...
Tough start in France for young Irish rally driver.
Irish rally driver Shaun Gallagher began a new challenge this weekend when he took part in round 1 of the French Peugeot 206 Cup, the Rallye Lyon- Charbonnieres-Rhone. The rally was a sixteen-stage mountain rally based in Lyon.
The event could not have got off to a worse start for Shaun when he spun on wet, slippery tar just two miles into the first stage. The Mullen Express Transport Peugeot 206 then got beached on a small embankment and the lack of spectators meant that the crew lost almost three minutes regaining the road.
Following two more stages in the rain Shaun and co driver Richard Pashley were lying second last overall at the end of leg 1.
The rain cleared overnight and leg 2 began in bright and sunny conditions. Shaun was instantly on the pace and set second fastest time on the days opening stage. Raindrops began to fall prior the to stages five and six and so Shaun reduced his tyre pressures. However the rain shower did not materialise and the tyres overheated loosing the Motorsport Ireland Billy Coleman Award Winner yet more time.
Stages eight and nine were hampered by brake problems, with the crew loosing brakes completely half way through stage nine. This problem was fixed during the following service and Shaun recovered perfectly setting fastest time on the final stage of the day.
The concluding leg of the rally consisted of six stages but the crew had only two new tyres forcing them to run on old ones most of the day. The car also developed a gearbox problem, continually jumping out of gear during the stage and so Shaun did not get a clear run over any of the days stages.
Following a weekend full of dramas Shaun finished 14th Peugeot and a well deserved 39th overall. "The pace of the French 206's was a lot faster than I expected and it was took me a while to adjust to the technicality required on the super fast mountain roads. Despite all the problems I am happy with the weekend we recovered from second last on the first day to finishing 39th overall." commented Shaun.
Shaun returns home this week and he will immediately begin preparations for the Circuit of Ireland. This rally will be Shaun's first event in a four-wheel drive car when he steps in behind the wheel of a Davy Greer Group N Evo 7. He will be co-driven by international co-driver, Rory Kennedy.