Dream Debut for the 22 Motorsport Drivers- Jennie Lee Hermansson and Lorna Smith After two days of intensive gravel rallying, through Northumberland's Kielder Forest, the 22 Motorsport drivers, Jennie Lee Hermansson and Lorna Smith, completed...
Dream Debut for the 22 Motorsport Drivers- Jennie Lee Hermansson and Lorna Smith
After two days of intensive gravel rallying, through Northumberland's Kielder Forest, the 22 Motorsport drivers, Jennie Lee Hermansson and Lorna Smith, completed the first round of the Kwik Fit Pirelli British Rally Championship in style, both putting in impressive performances, leaving no- one in any doubt as to their talent, commitment, and determination to make their mark this year.
Swedish driver Jennie-Lee carried home the Ladies' Trophy by clinching 5th place in the Group N class and finishing 17th overall. Team-mate Lorna Smith finished just 27 seconds later, claiming 6th in the Group N class and 18th overall.
The 22 Motorsport prepared Group N Subaru Imprezas came back completely in tact, despite blazing through the blind corners and dusty gravel tracks of Kielder and Falstone, which presented new challenges to the international competitors as they battled the clock. Their stage times showed consistent improvement throughout the day, and the final results underlined their hard work and dedication.
At the end of Leg One, Jennie-Lee was running a steady 7th in Group N with seconds to spare over her rivals. After a steep learning curve during the first few stages, Lorna salvaged a 12th place in Group N before a good night's rest. The following day, on Leg Two, Jennie-Lee gained two places, to move up to 5th, however, Lorna fought back strongly and substantially closed the gap to 6th.
Both 22 Motorsport drivers delivered a solid performance throughout their inaugural British Rally Championship event, and no doubt surprised many of their fellow competitors when they triumphantly drove through the elaborate finish in Baltic Square, Gateshead.
Jennie Lee and Lorna will compete in Round 2 of the Championship at the International Rally of Wales during 15-16 May, 2004.
Jennie-Lee Hermansson, 22 Motorsport Rally Driver: "I never expected to win the Ladies' Trophy on only my third 4 wheel drive event. We have had such great weather and Howard, my co-driver has taught me a lot so far. I am really still learning but am so pleased to share this prize with the whole team. I could never do it by myself."
Lorna Smith, 22 Motorsport Driver: "I know I could have finished even better than I did. Because this car is new to me, I wanted to keep a steady pace on Leg One. Then, on Leg Two, I knew the car better and put my foot down a little. The 22 Motorsport guys did an incredible job preparing the car at the last minute for me and I will get more out of the car next time. I cannot wait for Round 2."
Will Hunt, 22 Motorsport Team Manager: "The whole rally weekend was a success for us. Our drivers proved themselves as worthy competitors during their British Rally Championship debut. We are proud of Jennie Lee's performance and of her winning the Ladies' Trophy, and realise this is only the beginning for her. Lorna deserves "most improved" rally driver of the weekend. To take a minute out of her own stage time after familiarising herself with the car and team, really showed what she can do. It is not easy to come to a new car for the First Round of any competition and she handled it like a seasoned professional. The team did a great job and we are all looking forward to our next event in May."