22 Motorsport Enjoys a Successful Weekend - Trackrod Rally Yorkshire 2004
October 3, 2004 - Yorkshire - The Banbury based 22 Motorsport team was delighted to be running two cars on this year's Trackrod Rally Yorkshire, welcoming the young Welsh talent Simon Hughes to their camp. Simon, and co-driver Neil Dashfield, joined the team after a late deal to contest the event was completed, and were thrilled to have the opportunity to drive a Subaru Impreza with 22 Motorsport. The team's Swedish driver, Jennie-Lee Hermansson, succesfully accomplished her mission for the weekend, maintaining her lead in the Production Cup and taking over the lead in the Ladies Championship of the Kwik-Fit Pirelli British Rally Championship 2004.
With Jennie-Lee and co-driver Howard Davies starting the weekend at the top of the Production Cup Championship the pressure was on to pull out all the stops in the Subaru Impreza N10. The blue skies and sunshine of Saturday morning did not accurately reflect the stage conditions, which had been affected by Friday night's heavy rainfall, and Jennie-Lee took some time to adjust to the very slippery surfaces. After the first service Jennie-Lee was in 23rd position overall and 9th in class, and Simon, who really jumped out of the gates brimming with confidence, was lying a very respectable 12th overall and 3rd in class.
Throughout Day 1 Jennie-Lee showed steady improvement, and with some adjustment to the set up of her car, was feeling much more confident by the end the day, finishing Leg 1 in 19th place overall and 6th in Group N. Simon, who had been going really well, unfortunately suffered a damaged driveshaft early on Stage 5 and lost significant time on the subsequent two stages, before bringing the car into service. Once the car had been fully repaired Simon was able to look forward to the challenges that lay ahead on Leg 2.
The weather on Day 2 seemed to be on the driver's side, with conditions remaining dry and bright, but with a biting wind sending chills through the spectators. Starting the day in confident mood, Hermansson showed fans and fellow competitors alike what she can do, and put in some extremely good times. Despite the disappointments of Day 1 she still managed to keep her lead in the Production Cup and to gain the leadership of the Ladies Championship, ending the event 16th overall and 5th in Group N.
Hughes started Day 2 magnificently, blitzing through the field as he set top 3 Group N times before wowing the opposition with a stunning performance on the Langdale stage - coming home a full sixteen seconds faster than his closest Production Cup rival. He continued to set impressive times and ended the event pleased with his weekend's work, if a little frustrated.
All in all the Trackrod Rally Yorkshire was a success for the 22 Motorsport team, who are now back in Banbury preparing for the final round of the Championship, the Tempest South of England Rally on November 5-6 in Hampshire.
Jennie-Lee Hermansson- "After the first day sliding around, I knew that once we'd made a couple of slight changes to the set up of the car, I would do much better on the last day. I was more confident and the car felt better and although I was a bit disappointed with my final result we are leading the Production Cup and the Ladies Championship. That's a great position to be in going into the final round!"
Simon Hughes- "Well, this is my first rally with 22 Motorsport and I am really pleased to be with such a professional team. I drove my heart out and I know I could have been in the Top 10 had I not broken the driveshaft. But the guys did a great job and got me back on the road for the last day when I set the fastest time on Stage 11. It's not over yet. I plan to be going for it at the Tempest."
Will Hunt- "We are certainly very pleased to be running two cars again, and were delighted to welcome Simon aboard. Both drivers did well; the two of them had their own respective challenges to overcome on the first day but I believe on the second day they certainly made up for lost time. Simon fits into our team really well and we are just delighted that Jennie-Lee is leading the Production Cup. We knew she had it in her and she has really come into her own lately. The Tempest Rally will definitely live up to expectation for a close Championship and we are fully confident that both Jennie-Lee and Simon will rise to the occasion."