WRC

JWRC: Forde Brothers Rally Ireland summary

MECHANICAL PROBLEM DENIES FORDES RALLY IRELAND RESULT Galway crew Ross and Arron Forde were unfortunate at the weekend as a mechanical problem denied them a finish on Rally Ireland (29 January -- 1 February). The Carnmore brothers were...

MECHANICAL PROBLEM DENIES FORDES RALLY IRELAND RESULT

Galway crew Ross and Arron Forde were unfortunate at the weekend as a mechanical problem denied them a finish on Rally Ireland (29 January -- 1 February).

The Carnmore brothers were back behind the wheel of their Global Group Ireland-backed Suzuki Swift Sport for the Sligo-based tarmac event, the opening round of the 2009 World Rally Championship (WRC).

The pair, who were one of Ireland's wild card entries in the Junior World Rally Championship (JWRC), were having a trouble-free run across the rain soaked asphalt surface over legs one and two on their WRC debut.

They were up to 27th overall and seventh in the JWRC when disaster struck unexpectedly with just four stages to go on the final day on Sunday.

On stage 16 -- the Arigna test -- the gearbox broke, forcing them out of the rally, and the team still remain unsure as to what caused the problem.

Up until then, the Fordes had been enjoying contesting their home event for the first time, pushing their lesser-powered Swift to the maximum against the higher-specification Super 1600 models they were up against in the JWRC category.

"We were gutted to be robbed of a finish on our home event by a mechanical problem," said 25-year-old driver Ross. "We had been trying really hard, though we couldn't make too much of an impact against the faster cars, but we were happy and on course for a good result.

"The weather was a bit crazy and there was lots of standing water on the first two days. When it dried up on Sunday we only managed to get one full stage in.

"The rally was fantastic and well organised. The JWRC crews were really friendly and were offering us loads of advice on settings and tyre compounds so it's a credit to their series. I'd also like to thank the lads from Galway Mini Centre who serviced for us and did a great job even when drenched by the rain."

Their new-look website www.rossforde.com, run by Avpro Worldwide, kept everyone up to date throughout the event as fresh information and action images were regularly added onto the site in a blog-style.

The Fordes will next be in action in round one of the Fiesta Sporting Trophy UK on the Cumbria-based Malcolm Wilson Rally on Saturday 7 March.

They are contesting the whole series this year as Ross's prize for winning the 2008 Billy Coleman Award.

-credit: fordes

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Series WRC
Drivers Malcolm Wilson