Harraway proves pace on Pirelli Weston Super Mare based Simon Harraway shrugged off a recent injury to trade times with some of the best rally drivers in the country on last weekends Pirelli International Rally. Simon, who had been ruled...
Harraway proves pace on Pirelli
Weston Super Mare based Simon Harraway shrugged off a recent injury to trade times with some of the best rally drivers in the country on last weekends Pirelli International Rally.
Simon, who had been ruled out of competition for the past 6 weeks after damaging the ligaments in his right knee whilst training in early March, and was just looking for a steady run on his first trip to the infamous Kielder forest complex. With this event, the opening round of the 2008 Tesco 99 octane MSA British Rally Championship, allowing competitors the opportunity to write their own pace notes Simon and co-driver Craig Drew were hopeful of a strong run in their Regency Group backed Mitsubishi Evo 9.
After a constructive recce the pair were in good spirits but when they headed off into Carlisle for the ceremonial start disaster struck. The fuel pump failed as they left the start ramp and their rally was over before it had even begun!
Anxious to gain time in the car, and to check that their notes were accurate, the pair returned under super rally rules. These basically allow a competitor to accept a time penalty for each stage they miss and rejoin the action the next day. Thus the pair headed out to the first stage on Saturday, having missed all of Friday nights action, and with a 1 hour 10 minute penalty hanging over them, effectively ruling them out of any points scoring positions.
The first stage was hampered by the intercom failing so Simon had to drive purely by sight. After repairing the fault and some fine tuning of the set up in service, as well as more faith in his notes saw Simon begin to push, and with each stage that passed his times improved in leaps and bounds. The final stage, the 9 mile long Pundershaw 2, saw the former karting champion go seventh fastest overall, just seconds slower than reigning champion Guy Wilks and current Production car World Rally Championship Leader Juha Hanninen!
We had 1 mechanical problem all weekend long and that basically destroyed our rally. We had a good run on Saturday and both Craig and I were really happy with our notes. I enjoyed the stages, ever though some of them were pretty cut up, and we were hampered by catching slower cars in nearly every stage. Had we not have had the problems on Friday our times showed that we would have finished seventh overall which, considering we were just using the Saturday's stages as an extended test and were not pushing 100%. This was my first attempt at the British Championship and I think we showed that we will be fighting for podiums soon enough!
I must say a big thank you to my Co-driver Craig Drew who was faultless as normal and Regency Insurance Brokers for their continued support.
Next up for the Bravo Racing run pairing is the RBS Manx International Rally. This will be Simon's first visit to the tricky lanes of the Isle of Man but having made his mark as a karting champion in his youth this tarmac rally is one that the young man is relishing.