Any one of four drivers in the Silverstone Tyres 1400 Rally Championship can still take the prize drive on Wales Rally GB at next weekend's Tempest Stars Rally. The final battle will be joined on the gravel tracks around Aldershot, where ...
Any one of four drivers in the Silverstone Tyres 1400 Rally Championship can still take the prize drive on Wales Rally GB at next weekend's Tempest Stars Rally.
The final battle will be joined on the gravel tracks around Aldershot, where Championship leader Matt Cotton will fend off the advances of the more powerful MSA class cars in his MGZR. The Cornishman has already put the FIA category out of reach of the opposition, with four wins and two second places leaving him and co-driver Anthony Godden with an unassailable lead.
The pair has travelled the furthest to each of the events and scored consistently with only one result off the podium in 2007, but Matt is cautious about his chances. "The championship allows crews to drop their two lowest scores at the end of the season," he explains, "so even if we win in Aldershot we'll have to drop 31 points from our total as we've finished every round." His position means that he can still beat Dale Robertson and SD Roy on pace but must rely on Sykes and Pinder having problems.
"There is a mathematical chance of Matt, Luke (Pinder) Richard (Sykes) or Dale still wining the series," explained championship manager Mark Taylor, "but it is likely that it will go to the wire between Luke and Richard as they can only improve their points tally."
Midlander Sykes has led every round of the Silverstone Tyres Stars 1400 Rally Championship and is currently on a roll, with a straight hat-trick of victories. But Pinder has youth on his side and barring mechanical problems, his Ford Ka should be a match for Sykes' Peugeot 106.
The battle for the Junior category is still to be decided too, although Pinder has a healthy six point lead over Robertson. Pinder just needs a finish to secure the title so he will have to make a balance between fast for the overall victory and safe for the Junior crown.
The ultimate prize for the victor after 45 competitive miles and ten tricky stages is a run on Wales Rally GB at the end of November. The winner will get behind the wheel of a Group N 1400cc MGZR similar to those used by the FIA category drivers. As is this isn't enough incentive, the prize also includes free entries on each of the rounds of the 2008 Tesco 99 Octane MSA British Rally Championship.
Mark Taylor, "The fact that four drivers can still win means we have had to enter all of them on Rally GB. It is a bit of history for them all as they will appear in the pre-event documentation. Despite only one taking the prize it's definitely one to print off to show at their local motor clubs!"
The South of England Tempest Rally is based around Aldershot's Rushmoor Arena, with start, finish, service area and two runs of the spectator stage all within the confines of the facility. The start is from Rushmoor's Pegasus Village at 09.00 on Saturday 10th November finishing in darkness at 17.13 that evening.