8th November, 2001 Formula Rally Round 7 Banbury Rally Dale takes Banbury cake and driver's title Andover based Justin Dale and Manxman Andrew Bargery took a hard fought win on the Banbury rally, the final round of the 2001 Formula ...
8th November, 2001
Formula Rally Round 7
Dale takes Banbury cake and driver's title
Andover based Justin Dale and Manxman Andrew Bargery took a hard fought win on the Banbury rally, the final round of the 2001 Formula Rally Championship. Not only did they take the event victory but with it the Formula Rally Drivers title. The climax to the season was as tense as could be expected and the final result saw the Championship only decided on the last stage.The arduous event, although only consisting of 40 miles contained no less than fourteen stages.
Andover based Dale stamped his authority immediately on the opening stage, Enstone One a slippy airfield test, setting a time 2.1 seconds ahead of Andersson in the Proton. Championship rival Rowe was 3rd, a full 5.2 seconds down on Dale.
Justin was again quickest on Enstone Two, eking out a further 0.6 seconds on Rowe. He commented; "The car went well, but I really did find it quite slippy in places". Andersson slipped back dropping 3.2 seconds to Dale.
Stage three Great Tew 1 saw Rowe take the fastest time beating Dale by 0.3 second's through the short test with Higgins setting the same time as Justin. The first of the Cornbury loop fell to Andersson in the Proton, Dale dropped 12 seconds with a spin but recovered to set fastest time on the second of the stages.
The following stages were incredibly close with Higgins stringing three fastest times together followed by Dale reciprocating with the next three.
Dale entered the final two stages holding a slender 14 second lead over Higgins and 20 seconds on Rowe. The penultimate stage caused flutters in the Peugeot camp with Rowe taking 8.4 seconds off the lead. However Dale held his cool and Rowe could only manage to take another 2.1 seconds on the final stage leaving Dale to take the Driver's Crown.
Dale said; "It wasn't easy today -- Martin never gave up." Patting his Peugeot , Justin went on ; "A good old girl this. It hasn't really sunk in yet. It's been a great fight against very good drivers".
Not since the erection of the Banbury Cross in 1859 to celebrate the wedding of Prince Frederick of Prussia had Banbury seen such a sight as the debut of the brilliantly coloured "Linford Green" TOTAL supported Peugeot 206. Barbara Armstrong was given the role of putting the new car to the test and she was putting in some steady times to finish in the new Peugeot 206 with an ear to ear grin. She commented "The new car is fine, although the handbrake did sort of fall to bits on the way round. Its certainly had plenty of cosmetic surgery." A fine performance saw her finish 10th overall.
Martin Sansom took the Privateer Championship in his Peugeot Super 1600 106 prize drive in another fight that went right to the wire, to give Peugeot the drivers double.
Mick Linford; Peugeot Motorsport Director ;"What a fantastic day, extremely tight competition right up to the last stage. I'm very pleased for Justin, winning both the event and the title, for Martin in the Privateer Championship and of course for Rory, who has battled all year to win the Super 106 Cup.