Dale secures Super 1600 and Manufacturers' Championships. The Stena Line Ulster Rally - Leg 2, 7th September 2002 What was a grey, wet day for most of the Stena Line Ulster Rally, the 6th round of the Pirelli British Rally Championship, proved...
Dale secures Super 1600 and Manufacturers' Championships.
The Stena Line Ulster Rally - Leg 2, 7th September 2002
What was a grey, wet day for most of the Stena Line Ulster Rally, the 6th round of the Pirelli British Rally Championship, proved to be a fantastic day for Peugeot official works driver Justin Dale as he finished second in class securing the 2002 Super 1600 Drivers Championship and Manufacturers' Championship for Peugeot.
The rain was pouring down as the drivers arrived at Stage 7, Davagh 1, the first stage of the day just north west of Cookstown. Peugeot Super 1600 driver Dale suffered from his overnight lead which forced him to run first on the road and he reported the conditions to be "really slippy." Rory Galligan had his windscreen, which had been broken in his Stage 1 accident, replaced overnight but along with privateer Martin Sansom was having problems with it misting up in the wet conditions.
Stages 8 and 9 proved extremely wet for the Peugeot works team particularly Justin Dale as he was first into the stage meaning he was clearing the stages of water for everyone else. "I'm doing a lot of aquaplaning" commented Dale.
Dale reported Stage 10, Mary Gray, to be very slippy indeed and on Stage 11 admitted he was now holding station in the Super 1600 Category as his lead was under attack from MG driver Gwyndaf Evans. "If I try to stay with Gwyndaf, I'm having some moments and I can't afford to lose 6 points in the Championship for the sake of an event win." Meanwhile, Rory Galligan was getting his confidence back although he was having some problems with the gearshift and thought his tyres were going off.
After a brief return to the Gortin service area, the rally returned to Doraville for Stage 12 where Dale reported a heavy landing over a bump, landing the car on its nose but there was no damage. Dale found Stage 13, Barnes Gap 2, much better this time with less standing water. Having briefly lost the overall Category lead to Gwyndaf Evans on the previous stage, Dale once again set fastest time and retook the lead by 8 seconds.
Evans was reported to have left the Stage 13 again with only three cylinders but following service at Gortin he went into a nine second lead with only one stage remaining. Everyone in the team held their breath waiting for the outcome. Stage 13 - Barnes Gap - was a tricky one for Rory Galligan after his windscreen wipers flew off, and the rain started.
A battle for a Super 1600 win continued into Stages 14 and 15 between Peugeot's Justin Dale and MG's Gwyndaf Evans. An impressive stage time put in by Dale left him a tenth of a second behind Evans. More.../
With Dale content that he had secured the Super 1600 category he wasn't taking any chances in the overall drivers championship, finishing less than a second behind Evans at rally end, Davagh 2, Stage 15, 6th overall in the event. Galligan undeterred by a challenging rally finished 3rd in the Super 1600 category and 19th overall.
Peugeot Sport UK Motorsport Manager, Mick Linford commented; "It's great that Justin has secured the two championships today. Our aim is to secure the third one, the overall driver's championship, and get the triple. The Trackrod is certainly going to be an interesting event."
The 7th round of the Championship takes us to, Yorkshire for the Trackrod Rally on September 27/28th.
Overall Super 1600 positions <pre> Posn. Num. Driver/Co-driver Manufacturer Total 1 15 Evans/Patterson MG 2:10:38.6 2 1 Dale/Bargery Peugeot 2:11:03.4 3 5 Sansom/Thomas Peugeot 2:13:52.9 4 3 Galligan/Noble Peugeot 2:18:51.0