'Suzuki star James aims for Jim Clark joy'. MSA British Rally Elite driver James Wozencroft takes his Dealer Team Suzuki backed Ignis Super 1600 to the Scottish Borders on July 7th/8th, as he contests the second round of the Tesco 99 British ...
'Suzuki star James aims for Jim Clark joy'.
MSA British Rally Elite driver James Wozencroft takes his Dealer Team Suzuki backed Ignis Super 1600 to the Scottish Borders on July 7th/8th, as he contests the second round of the Tesco 99 British Rally Championship, the Jim Clark Rally. Based at Kelso Racecourse, the event uses the closed tarmac roads in rural Berwickshire, and MSA British Rally Elite member James warmed up for the all tarmac affair in fine style with a recent trip to Ireland.
Together with Manx based co-driver Robert Fagg, the Dunlop Tyres backed duo took their Thompson Suzuki supported Ignis S1600 to the emerald isle for the Donegal International Rally. James had never driven the ex-Guy Wilks championship winning car in anger on tarmac before, and the pair were keen to put in a good performance in what was a field packed full of quality.
Despite spinning early on and also suffering some minor exhaust problems with the catalytic converter, James and Rob increased their pace throughout the rally as they grew in confidence with the car. When the rain came and soaked the bumpy Irish lanes, James increased his pace further as he avoided the scenery to take a well earned victory in the Super 1600 category. James was pleased to have found a good set up for both dry and wet conditions, and in particular, the performance of the Dunlop Tyres was a major boost for the team.
With the car back on the mainland and being readied for duty on the Jim Clark Rally, James is now focusing his attention on an event he contested for the first time last year. Together with Rob, the pair took a comprehensive victory in the BRC 'Stars of the Future' category on the rally, en route to taking the championship title in the process. Driving the Super 1600 version of the Ignis is an altogether more challenging prospect for the crew on the fast tarmac lanes, and James is keen to put in a good performance.
On the opening round of the championship, the pair were in good form. James steadily got into the swing of things as he began to adjust and set up the Ignis to his liking on the flowing stages of Kielder forest. The pair would eventually finish third in a very competitive Super 1600 category. With the likes of former works Ford driver Roman Kresta and Barry Clark to do battle with again, James and Rob know that they will have to be on good form when the event kicks off on July 7th.
After thoroughly enjoying the rally in Ireland, James is now keen to get back to business in the BRC:
'Donegal was just brilliant' enthused the Ludlow driver. 'I'm really pleased with the way things went out there. We managed to set the car up well for both wet and dry conditions, and the Dunlop tyres worked fantastically well. When it was wet, the grip levels changed so much it was hard to know where and when to brake or turn in, but the car and tyre package were well tuned into the conditions by the end. It has given me a lot of confidence in the car ahead of the Jim Clark Rally, as I feel we can put in another good performance there.
Winning the Super 1600 category in Donegal was a real bonus for us, as we were there primarily as a testing exercise. With that completed, we can get back to the serious business of scoring good points in the BRC. Opposition is going to be very strong on this event. Out of all the Super 1600 drivers, I have the least tarmac driving experience, so we shall see how that works out. The most important thing is confidence in the car, and as long as we have good pace notes and a good recce behind us, there is no reason why we cannot put in a strong performance in Scotland next weekend'.