'Super James keeps title fight ignited'. MSA British Rally Elite driver James Wozencroft brought his Dealer Team Suzuki backed Ignis Super 1600 home in one piece to secure 2nd in the Super 1600 class of the Trackrod Rally Yorkshire. The Ludlow...
'Super James keeps title fight ignited'.
MSA British Rally Elite driver James Wozencroft brought his Dealer Team Suzuki backed Ignis Super 1600 home in one piece to secure 2nd in the Super 1600 class of the Trackrod Rally Yorkshire. The Ludlow driver now leads the competitive class with just the final round to go at Wales Rally GB in December.
The Pickering based rally in North Yorkshire would be an ultra high speed test for James and his Manx based co-driver Robert Fagg. The pair have been consistent throughout the 2006 Tesco 99 British Rally Championship, and their strong finishing record has resulted in them being at the top of the Super 1600 points table after some solid performances this year. The 2005 BRC 'Stars of the Future' Champions faced a massive step up from their 1400cc Suzuki Ignis to the all singing and dancing Super 1600 car, offering nearly double the power.
After wet and muddy conditions on the pre-event recce, it was a sunny and dry Yorkshire that greeted the crews on Saturday morning. With Championship pace setter Guy Wilks once again setting blistering times in his similar Ignis S1600, James was content to fight for the runner up spot, battling against the challenges of the Team Stobart Ford Fiesta S1600's of Barry Clark and former works Ford WRC driver Roman Kresta. The occasional damp sections were causing a few moments amongst crews, but James was happy to be right in the middle of the battle for second in his Dunlop backed Suzuki early on.
The Thompson Garages and Mexperience.com team were more than holding their own in the likes of Cropton and Gale Rigg. Just tenths of seconds were separating James from the Fiesta drivers on stages, and the battle looked set to go all the way to the finish. Kresta was the first to bow out of the running, as he developed mechanical problems and was forced to retire. That left James and Scotland's Barry Clark to battle it out over the final few stages.
It was nip and tuck all the way, but James was able to get the hammer down as he finished just 13 seconds ahead of Clark after more than 100 miles of special stages. The result gives James a three point lead in the Super 1600 class, with Wales Rally GB - a round of the FIA World Rally Championship, as the final round of the series. The event takes place over three days, and the BRC will split points over the days of the rally. With that in mind, Wozencroft has everything to play for on the Cardiff based rally. James was more than happy to take second place on the event:
"In fairness to Guy (Wilks), there was just no way we could get anywhere near his pace. He's competed at WRC level for a few years now, and it really shows. I'm still getting to grips with the Ignis in S1600 specification, so every day is still a learning day for us at the moment. Having said that, we're delighted to have beaten off the challenge of the Stobart Fiestas on the event, as it was a really close fight with them all the way through. I'm delighted to be still leading the championship, but I'm under no illusion that we'll need a bit of luck to win the title on the final round. Guy will be pushing really hard as always, and we'll just have to see how things pan out with the points. I've learnt a huge amount this year, and having completed the recce for Wales Rally GB last year, I know there is a very long way to go before the title is over just yet'.