A Truly Superb Season to Date! In the forests of North Yorkshire based around the market of Pickering, last weekend for Alastair was another chapter in what has been a superb debut rally season in a four wheel drive Group N car. By virtue of ...
A Truly Superb Season to Date!
In the forests of North Yorkshire based around the market of Pickering, last weekend for Alastair was another chapter in what has been a superb debut rally season in a four wheel drive Group N car. By virtue of his mature drive to finish the Trackrod Rally in Yorkshire, Alastair secured a fantastic third place in what is his debut season in the Pirelli British Rally Championship in a four wheel drive machine.
"Our mission was to protect our third position in the BRC at the weekend, and that's what we achieved. It was a bit nerve wrecking at times, as there were a few rough sections that were hard on the car, but it ran faultlessly all day." Driving with the championship position in mind isn't an easy task and Alastair admits that he had a slow start on stage one, a small over- shoot not helping matters, but on stage 3 he picked the pace up, being just 2.3 seconds slower than leader Keith Cronin, and just .07 behind on stage four.
"There were times during the day that Adam Gould and Dave Weston were maybe only one or two seconds in front, and it would have been tempting to really go for them, but we just had to ease back that bit. They were good fast flowing stages, and there was more time to be gained on the flowing sections, but there was no point risking throwing it all away." Indeed Alastair's season which netted him third place has been a model of steady progress, consistency and speed, top placings combined with finishes on every single round of the British Championship.
Alastair expressed thanks to all his sponsors, to Gerry (Mc Garrity) and all at McGarrity Motorsport and Pro- Tec Motorsport, "The car has been ultra reliable all season. Rory Kennedy and Barry McNulty have been superb with their hard work from the co-driver's seat on the recces and the rallies. Pirelli and the BRC organising team have delivered a championship that has been competitor friendly and above all very enjoyable. The MSA Elite has provided good support and input to the season, but I cannot forget my family who have been there at all the rounds and all the friends who have given up their free time for test sessions and preparations throughout the season."
But the season is far from over for Alastair as the Mitsubishi is being transformed into tarmac trim for this weekend's Cork 20 International Rally, the final round of the Irish Tarmac Championship. Indeed Alastair is lying a magnificent third overall in the series and leads the Group N race. "Again we have to finish to ensure that title, and it would mean a lot to secure that Group N Tarmac Championship." It's important for me to have a clean run in preparation for next week's Pirelli Shoot-out in Sweet Lamb. For sure the competition on the shoot-out will be intense with drivers being assessed in both two and four wheel drive machines, fitness, media skills and even tests on the FIA rulebook... A bit of revision to do!! I'm looking forward to it, and it will be great experience and an added bonus should I to be lucky enough to come out on top."
With the shoot-out and all the championship's out of the way the new IRC Rally Scotland event in November will be the next rally for Alastair to test his skills against the top European works' Super 2000 teams, and once again many of his BRC rivals. With no championship pressure it will be great event for Alastair to have a real go.
Alastair's third place in the BRC was a superb result on a weekend when Dungannon's Kris Meeke lifted the IRC Rally title and Cork's Keith Cronin won the British Rally Championship. "It was fantastic to see it. I think Kris is long overdue a championship win like this, and it's just brilliant. As for Keith I think he has done a superb job to win the BRC. He has proved his pace all year, and he clinched the championship in style on the Trackrod."