Tony Jardine exited the Arctic Rally after nine stages when, after a collision into a snow bank, his MG ZR was eliminated due to time faults. The Group N MG ZR ran faultlessly as Tony gained places stage by stage. In desperately low temperatures...
Tony Jardine exited the Arctic Rally after nine stages when, after a collision into a snow bank, his MG ZR was eliminated due to time faults.
The Group N MG ZR ran faultlessly as Tony gained places stage by stage. In desperately low temperatures and facing forest roads bordered by banks of packed snow the team completed the first leg of the daunting Arctic Lapland Rally. Tony, with the Daily Mirror's Des Kelly as co-driver, lay 79th overall and 27th in class N3 as night fell.
Leg two of the Arctic Lapland Rally resumed with Tony and Des up to 75th overall after the first two stages of the day. The second stage of the day, SS8, featured a tight and twisty start before some very quick sections that saw the car on the rev limiter in fifth gear. They set an excellent time on the 14.91km stage, their best performance on the event.
Stage nine, however, was to prove more of a challenge with the car going off and into a snow bank. Tony explained: "The MG ZR was superb and we were going well until we reached SS9, which is notoriously bumpy. The stage was 25km long, and after about 17kms it gets tight and twisty with trees and some very soft snow filled ditches, you had to be very precise. The weather was much better than SS5, which we completed late at night in a blizzard giving about 50 yards of visibility. We had a Russian driver in a four-wheel drive car behind who caught us. I was just deciding whether to let him by or not, when we went a foot to the left, caught the snow in a ditch, and that sucked us in. It's frustrating because we even had a warning in the notes about that, so it was entirely my fault."
"Keke Rosberg was running two cars back, and we had been joking at the previous service that we would let him through if he caught us, but when Des went back to put out the warning triangle, Keke's car suddenly shot past and he had to dive into the snow! We managed to get the car out with the help of about eight spectators and some wood from an old hut. The MG was fine, the only damage a broken rear window, and we were able to drive out of the stage - though we were well over time and out of the rally.
"We're already thinking about next year, and my sponsors RAC Auto Windscreens has really enjoyed being out here. The MG hadn't missed a beat all rally and I have to put my hand up to making the mistake which put us out!"