Black's red letter day Northamptonshire student Callum Black has secured the BRC Challenge, his first major title, after delivering a performance that belied the youngsters years. The finale to the Dulux Trade British Rally Championship...
Black's red letter day
Northamptonshire student Callum Black has secured the BRC Challenge, his first major title, after delivering a performance that belied the youngsters years.
The finale to the Dulux Trade British Rally Championship support series got underway on Rally Yorkshire this weekend following a superb season of close fought battles, that meant any of five drivers could have walked away as champion following today's stages.
The day started badly for Louise Cook however, who failed to make the start in her RC4 Fiesta, but consolation followed with the news she had done enough to win the class honours for the year.
But it was the cool head of Black that survived the pressure of not only leading the series coming into the last round by three points, but having to adapt to his new car.
The rally start on the blustery Scarborough seafront showed a visibly anxious and nervous group of competitors awaiting their final test of the year.
Though it was the champion elect Black who came out of the blocks quickest with an ever so impressive time on Housedale 1, some 20 seconds ahead of Damien Smith who in turn was 15 seconds faster than anybody else.
Callum's nearest rival Chris Peart was third quickest of the chasing pack in his S1600 Corsa but an off on SS3 put an end to his title ambitions for 2010.
The retirement of Peart opened the door to Jonathan Cunningham to take up the job of pressuring Black and co-driver Paul Wakely into the mistake that just never happened.
At the service halt Callum looked shocked at just how quick he had gone on the first couple of stages, "I didn't think I would put 20 seconds on the field after the first stage" he said.
The job was only half done though and he knew that he needed to stay calm "I need to bring it home, but I still have to finish ahead of Jonny".
The events difficult conditions were giving all the competitors a tough challenge with most if not all having minor excursions throughout the day.
After the interval the pace set by the charging Black in his new Suzuki Swift S1600 just got hotter and hotter, with the engineering student posting more impressive stage times that wouldn't be out of place in the International rally.
Another hard charging crew was the duo of Brett Griffin and Sam Fordham in their RC2 Peugeot 106 fresh from being rebuilt after crashing on the final stage of the Isle of Man Rally back in July.#
"We've rebuilt the left hand side of the car, and were here now to wrap up the RC2 class honours" explained Brett. "The stages are really difficult, on the fast straights the rear of the car wants' to break away, it can get a little hairy at times" added the likeable Griffin.
Another late casualty was Andy Chalmers in his 1400 RC1 Suzuki Swift which yet again suffered a mechanical problem on the last stage, which put pay to what was a decent days driving.
"We have set some good times today, and the car has run perfectly up until the last stage when the fuel pump gave way. I think I'm going to take the car to church tomorrow to have it blessed" added a frustrated Chalmers after limping the car over the finish line.
But the day belonged to Callum Black who won every stage of the rally to become the BRC Challenge Champion of 2010.
Jonathan Cunningham finished second, but consoled himself with the Fiesta SportChallenge trophy title and a second place overall in the BRCC championship. "We said at the start of the year let's just see how it goes, but it's been a dream year" he quipped.
Third on the event was a shocked Brett Griffin "I'm very surprised to be in front of the Fiestas, it does make up for the Isle of Man though" he remarked.
The biggest celebration was left to the rally victor and BRCC champion Callum Black who celebrated in style. "I won this properly, by going out and being the fastest on all the stages" he remarked. "The set-up we chose worked perfectly and the team have done a great job".
"I have worked so hard all year for this, it's great to have achieved it at last. It's been a long hard season" he added.
"I'm sorry Chris retired, but that's rallying". "I'm aiming to do the full British Rally Championship next year with this car, and possibly funds permitting do a couple of selected IRC rounds".
If the 2010 season is anything to go by then 2011 should really be something to look forward to.
Credit: Stu Coady
UK Journalism -- University of Central Lancashire