Fine Second for Fisher on Jim Clark International For Alastair Fisher this season's British Rally Championship has had its frustrations. Two non finishes with mechanical failures on the opening Bulldog and Pirelli gravel rounds had left no ...
Fine Second for Fisher on Jim Clark International
For Alastair Fisher this season's British Rally Championship has had its frustrations.
Two non finishes with mechanical failures on the opening Bulldog and Pirelli gravel rounds had left no points on the board. On the first two British rounds Alastair had shown his speed, and now on the weekend's Jim Clark International, with the speed came a well deserved result, a fine second place behind former British Champion Gwyndaf Evans.
Alastair with co-driver Rory Kennedy started the Jim Clark International in confident form after their recent successes on the Irish Tarmac rounds, which included leading the Circuit of Ireland overall. After a blast around the late Jim Clark's home town of Duns, it was on to the first proper Abbey St Bathans stages, where Alastair lay fourth overall at the finish of the test. "We had a good time on Abbey St Bathans, Keith set the fastest time and we were 5 seconds off Gwyndaf and 1 second faster than Craig Breen in the Super 2000 Fiesta. On the night stages we also had clean runs and by the end of the day we were in third place."
Day two started extremely well for Alastair, the Co.Tyrone driver turning in stage times on the pace of the two British Champions, Keith Cronin and Gwyndaf Evans. After the day's first two tests, Alastair maintained his 26 second advantage over Gwyndaf, with Craig Breen now leading from Keith Cronin. Then the drama unfolded with Craig retiring with a blown engine and Keith losing time with a puncture. "Things really heated up over the morning loop, we swapped just a tenth of a second with Gwyndaf over the opening two tests of the day and after Craig and Keith's problems we found ourselves leading the rally." But, unfortunately Alastair was to have his own niggles. "The last four stages were one big loop and we chose slicks which was the correct choice despite a shower. On the first test it was very slippery for everyone and some of the sections were like driving on ice! Unfortunately we developed an engine problem, with a misfire coming into the car. It just wasn't revving out clean and we were really losing out on the fast sections, dropping maybe a second a mile with it. Gwyndaf slipped ahead of us, it would have been nice to have been racing him to the finish, but we had to settle for second place. Nevertheless we were happy with the result and with it we won the UK Evo Challenge round also scooping £500 of parts vouchers. It was good to get the result and put a few points on the board."
The next rally for Alastair is the Topaz Donegal International on the 18th- 20th June, round four of the Citroen Irish Tarmac Rally Championship which Alastair amazingly leads overall. "The entry in Donegal is going to be very competitive. It's also a three day rally, a tough rally, so we really need to try and make sure of a finish and think of the championship."
Alastair's second place however on the Jim Clark International was another pointer as to how the young charger who only transferred to Group N in 2009 has ever increased his pace. The next British Championship round is the classic Rally Isle of Man in July.