The Citroen C2R2 Cup had its first double winner this weekend when George Thomas became the first driver to take maximum points on two events. His victory on the Ulster International Rally came after Championship leader Jason Pritchard had...
The Citroen C2R2 Cup had its first double winner this weekend when George Thomas became the first driver to take maximum points on two events. His victory on the Ulster International Rally came after Championship leader Jason Pritchard had complete electrical failure on the first day.
Thomas was under strict instructions to get to the finish without damaging the car after an accident on the Isle of Man cost him any chance of points. "We were aware that we started slowly but the plan was to build speed at a steady rate and find a comfortable pace that was fast but safe. Thankfully the plan worked and after Jason stopped we just had to keep an eye on Martin (Roberts), but he had a bad first day so the pressure was off."
On their way to the podium the crew suffered two punctures on one stage, which George reckoned cost them the overall Rally 2 victory, "We had to stop and change the front one and the car nearly fell of the jack," he said, "then the second one wrapped itself round the rear suspension and broke the damper. But that was the only real glitch in an excellent rally."
Northern Irish driver Martin Laverty was surprised to take second, stating at the start that he was definitely on a mission just to just get to the finish without problems. This he managed, and in a rally where many fell foul of the changeable weather, the additional points moved the quiet spoken Irishman to third in the championship.
Martin Roberts overcame an unpleasant first day calling it a "Disaster!" He chose the wrong tyres in soaking wet and spun in the dark. The crew also encountered a dog on the stage and got lost between stages, dropping four minutes. "I'm ready to put it on a trailer and go home." He said at service. Thankfully he didn't and Saturday was much kinder, allowing him to take third and remain second in the championship.
Kazutomo Kusama is deserved of mention too, getting his C2R2 to the finish for the first time, one place behind Roberts. His crash course in English was accompanied by a crash course in hedges on Saturday though, slamming sideways into some robust greenery that damaged the rear quarter and smashed the window. He was both delighted and relieved to get to the finish after that incident and a broken gear selector lever but remained smiling throughout.
Jason Pritchard restarted using Super Rally and his points haul keeps him at the head of the table. But Jonny Greer's first foray in the C2R2 Cup ended in complete retirement on Friday after an off broke the radiator.
The next round of the Charles Hurst Citroen supported series is International Rally Yorkshire in early October where the combatants will rejoin battle on gravel.
Further information on the Tesco 99 Octane MSA British Rally Championship can be found at www.rallybrc.co.uk