A joyless Jim Clark for SG Petch The SG Petch Scalextric Team experienced a torrid weekend as both cars suffered an incredible amount of bad luck on round 2 of the 2006 Tescos 99 Octane MSA British Rally Championship, the Jim Clark ...
A joyless Jim Clark for SG Petch
The SG Petch Scalextric Team experienced a torrid weekend as both cars suffered an incredible amount of bad luck on round 2 of the 2006 Tescos 99 Octane MSA British Rally Championship, the Jim Clark International.
Both Stephen Petch Junior and Rob Gill had had good runs over the closed public lanes of South Scotland in 2005 but Rob's 2006 rally got off to the worst possibly start when the gear lever broke shortly after the start of the very first stage. Despite finishing the stage he chose to retire with plans to re-start under 'super rally' rules on Saturday.
Stephen opened his account with a time inside the top 20 but was unhappy with the handling on his car, complaining about a lack of confidence with the tyres. He then lost more ground to those ahead of him when the car suffered intermittent fuel feed problems, causing it to cut out at the most inopportune moments.
Despite playing around with tyre pressures and gaining confidence in the grip levels Stephen then struggled with a faulty fuel pump and it was by sheer determination that he persevered through the 3 remaining stages on Friday before the team was able to descend on the car and replace the faulty fuel pump, ready for Saturday's action.
With the team restored to 2 cars for the 2nd day everyone was full of hope, but once again bad luck struck. First of all Rob Gill suffered clutch problems that would prove terminal, a result of the strain of being stuck in 4th gear on Friday. And then Stephen was hampered by more handling problems. At first the team thought a drive shaft had broken, but when the problem persisted after changing the drive shaft they realised that the centre diff was the culprit.
The unusual nature of the Jim Clark is notoriously tough on cars and quite a few of the Mitsubishi drivers were struggling with differential problems. All Stephen could hope for was that the car would hold together long enough to complete the rally, as the way cars were retiring around him he was set for a decent points haul in the Evo Challenge.
Unfortunately it all went wrong on Stage 18, Fogo 2. With the car having a tendency to step out of line Stephen was trying to keep up a good pace whilst not taking too many risks. However the car snapped sideways on a fast bend and brushed a telegraph post, resulting in a punctured tyre. Not wishing to do any more damage Stephen opted to stop and change the tyre there and then. Unfortunately all of his efforts were to be in vain as the central diff cried enough at the end of the stage, ending their rally there and then.
I must have done something really bad in a previous life to have warranted all of this bad luck! Mused a frustrated Petch Junior. Next up is the Swansea Bay Rally. Having rolled out on the very first stage last year we'll be hoping for a better run this year.
The Swansea Bay Rally is on the 22nd of July.