"Ramanen Roars as Richard Rolls" RSAC Scottish Peugeot National Rally, 8th & 9th June, 2002 Day 2 of round three of the TOTAL supported 206 Super Cup saw an amazing finish as Marko Ramanan, the Thetford based Finn, triumph over...
"Ramanen Roars as Richard Rolls"
RSAC Scottish Peugeot National Rally, 8th & 9th June, 2002
Day 2 of round three of the TOTAL supported 206 Super Cup saw an amazing finish as Marko Ramanan, the Thetford based Finn, triumph over Patrick Richard, the 28 year old from Whistler, Canada on the very last stage after the Canadian rolled out of the top spot.
The opening stage of the day Ae 1 was the longest of the rally at 18.78 miles and Garry Jennings saw instant drama. His tiny one-second overnight lead evaporated when he somersaulted into a ditch in the fog. Richard moved into the lead although he backed off when he saw Jennings stranded. Ramanen also pulled back a little, saying; "I eased off when I saw Jennings off, Ae is my favourite stage so I'm happy to push later if I need to."
Joint fastest on the opener was the hard charging Shaun Gallagher finishing on an identical time to Ramanen. Faulkner was next up a mere 1.2 seconds back. Richard had visibility problems with the fog and Ramanen gained over 10 seconds on the Canadian.
Gallagher posted further intent on the next stage Windy Hill 1. He was fastest again from Martin Evans who was delighted to have a clear stage and found the pace, Richard Sykes was less than a second back with Ramanen and MacHale filling fourth and fifth. Gallagher was delighted at setting the pace having spun deliberately on the opener whilst attempting to miss a tree after a right three tightened more than expected. Sykes was also in a better mood and was beginning to look at the times again with his thoughts firmly on moving up the order.
Stage 9 Castle O'er saw Ramanen again chip into Richard's lead, narrowing the gap between the pair to a slender 3.8 seconds with another fastest time. Faulkner was lurking behind the pair waiting to take advantage of any slip up and Gallagher had now moved into fourth place with Dunbabin a fine fifth.
Richard had broken an engine mounting through Stage 9 missing gears as the engine rocked back. He also lost the power steering but still took over 8 seconds from Ramanen through Stage 10 Twiglees. Gallagher split the pair in 3rd whilst. Sykes took 4th in a last ditch attempt to move up the order. Graham McClintock was fifth fastest, posting his first top five time, this coming after he had earlier rolled the car onto it's side removing much of the nearside glass.
With the cancellation of the final stage Windy Hill due to the dreadful conditions combined with earlier delays the 18.78 miles of Ae2 was the decider. In another dramatic twist, disaster struck Richard, when he cut a corner a little too far rolling three times and out of the event. With Richard retired Ramanen moved into top spot and he commented at the end of the stage;"We had an absolute mental speed up to when we passed Richard who had gone off. After that we drove slow enough to win."
Pat Richard's service crew won the Hella Cool Box and Ben and Simon Roper the Total Spirit of the Rally Award.