Donnelly & Robinson blitz Citroen opposition Mark Donnelly and Paddy Robinson blitzed the opposition on their Citron Racing Trophy debut on the opening round of the 2010 Dulux Trade MSA British Rally Championship, Bulldog International Rally...
Donnelly & Robinson blitz Citroen opposition
Mark Donnelly and Paddy Robinson blitzed the opposition on their Citron Racing Trophy debut on the opening round of the 2010 Dulux Trade MSA British Rally Championship, Bulldog International Rally North Wales this weekend.
A perfect Irish cross border partnership, Donnelly coming from County Tyrone and Robinson from County Donegal, the pair set fastest times on all eight stages of the 100 mile gravel event in their recently acquired Citroen C2R2 Max.
He commented at the finish, "We had a good clean run all day with no troubles at all. The wee car has been great; it's awesome and there is lot of good competition. It has been a good battle."
The youngster's pace in the R2 class overall also means that he takes maximum Citroen Racing Trophy prize money of 5,000. His nearest rival Robert Barrable, co-driven by Damien Connolly, takes just reward for his persistence in second place to the tune of 3,000.
Amiable Dubliner Barrable was ousted from second place on the stages just twice, Australian Molly Taylor and reigning champion Citro0x00ebn co-driver Phil Clarke improving throughout the day to post a second fastest time on the penultimate stage and finish third in the one-make series.
The only other driver to get close to Donnelly was the luckless Midlander Richard Sykes. He and co-driver Simon Taylor had moved up to the Citroens to try and overcome a couple of seasons' reliability issues, but ended the day with engine failure on stage six while lying third with a second fastest time to his credit.
The fourth placed pairing of Joe McGonigle and Niall Burns also had some bad luck, but theirs came before the event, failing to complete more than one stage of the recce. Their second recce car broke down while driving off the ferry from Ireland, then lack of a spare wheel after a puncture in a hire car left them stranded. Consequently they completed the event without prior sight of the stages.
2009 Swift Sport Cup Champions Luke Pinder and Peter Scott had a slow start to the season having lost communication on the very first stage. This was coupled with an unfamiliar driving position, the Yorkshireman unusually struggling to get used to a right hand drive car after several seasons in left hand drive.
The first round over and 14,000 prize money split between the finishers, all the drivers will be keen to get to the Pirelli International Rally at the end of April to get their hands on the remaining prize fund of nearly 120.000.