'Tarmac trouble for Fiesta man Davies'. Kevin Davies showed his competitive spirit on this weekend's Jim Clark Rally. The Fiesta SportingTrophy championship leader was looking to score as many points as possible on the Kelso based rally, round...
'Tarmac trouble for Fiesta man Davies'.
Kevin Davies showed his competitive spirit on this weekend's Jim Clark Rally. The Fiesta SportingTrophy championship leader was looking to score as many points as possible on the Kelso based rally, round four of the one make series for identical Ford Fiesta ST150's.
Backed by KJ's Eden Tours, David Harries & Co. and MM Ford of Aberystwyth, Kevin had the honour of leading the field away as befits the championship leader's status. The all tarmac affair would offer high speed tarmac lanes where big jumps and big water splashes play a major part in proceedings. The 21 year old from Llanfihangel-ar-Arth was keen to show his pace on tarmac after three excellent outings on gravel this season, and together with Llandysul's Emyr Jones, Kevin was determined to get off to a good start.
With cloudy conditions posing the chance of rain, Kevin headed to the first stage confident he could go well. A solid if not spectacular start gave Kevin a top ten position in the www.rallycarsales.net and X-Cite Motorsport Supplies backed Fiesta ST150. Davies felt he had been a little too cautious on the opening test, and improved significantly on the next stage, as he went 3rd fastest. Davies was settling in well to the demands of driving the Fiesta on tarmac for the first time. With no chance to test the car prior to the event, it was very much a case of being in at the deep end for the MSA British Rally Elite Academy driver.
Intense competition was all around Davies in his Geoff Jones Motorsport run machine, and he was happy to be moving up the leaderboard with each stage. The Welshman was heading for the Top 5 of the Fiesta leaderboard, until a rare mechanical failure would force the young Welsh ace to become a frustrated spectator for the remainder of the event. The Fiestas bottom ball joint parted company with the rest of the car, making it impossible for Kevin and Emyr to cure the problem. Try as he did, the automotive technician student could not fix the car, and Davies had no option but to retire from the rally.
Results ran kindly for Davies on the day however, and his retirement did not cause a major blow to his championship aspirations. New championship leader George Thomas was fourth overall, with Simon Hughes taking victory. As a result, Kevin moves to second in the championship standings, but just three points behind Thomas, and two points ahead of third placed Hughes. Disappointed to have retired after just three stages of the rally, Davies was positive about his chances for the up coming events:
'The way things have gone so far this year I did wonder if we would have a problem at some point. Nearly everyone in the championship has had a bit of misfortune one rally or another, and after three excellent results, today was our day to be left disappointed. The car was going very well up to that point, and I was slowly building my confidence in the car on tarmac. We had a good set up and I think we'll be able to do better on the next tarmac event we do. Of course gravel is next on the agenda for us, and an event that will suit me. The Swansea Bay Rally uses stages that I have done before, and I really enjoy them. I think we'll be able to do very well as it is the closest I will get to 'home advantage' this year. The main thing is that although we did not score points on this event, we did not lose out too badly either. We are only three points off the lead of the series now, and there is still a long way to go before the season is over. Best of all, we remain right in the thick of the action and we stand as good a chance of anyone else of winning the series if things go our way. We'll be pushing as hard as ever in Swansea on July 22nd'.