Glory for Gallagher and Jenning's Joy. The Michelin Tempest Rally lived up to its name today when ferocious gales hit the special stages. The battle for the Peugeot 206 Super Cup also raged on, with Shaun Gallagher and Garry Jennings ...
Glory for Gallagher and Jenning's Joy.
The Michelin Tempest Rally lived up to its name today when ferocious gales hit the special stages. The battle for the Peugeot 206 Super Cup also raged on, with Shaun Gallagher and Garry Jennings still fighting for the title.
Gallagher led the crews off this morning, but it was Chris Moore who was fastest through the first stage of the day, Ash Ranges, despite coming across a railway sleeper in the road which had been dragged on by a previous competitor. Moore thought he had clipped it but suffered no damage. Alun Pearson went off on the jumps just before the flying finish, ending his rally and causing following competitors to be slowed down. The gales were causing havoc with the stage furniture and Richard Sykes was confused when tape was blowing across the stage and he was unsure of the correct route.
Gallagher was not happy with the following two stages, particularly the six miles in Warren, a variation of yesterday's Bramshill stage, which he reported to be very rough and cut up and he found it hard to get traction. Despite that, he set fastest times on both, and a further four to dominate six of the ten stages today.
Olly Marshall thought Stage 8, Yateley, was like driving on ice and was looking forward to new tyres at service. Thomas Mullen was getting into the swing, stating that he loved the first stage and loved the car even more. However, after Stage 9 he admitted to being a bit nervous and having "a few near ones" but was getting used to his car.
Moore had an overshoot on a hairpin losing a few seconds on Stage 9, whilst Richard Sykes had been told by a marshal that a chicane had been removed, consequently he obliterated the first chicane which was still there.
Thomas Mullen spent four minutes in a ditch on Stage 11, Eelmoor 1, and his valiant efforts in extricating his car and subsequent smile at making the finish line in 10th place have landed him with the TOTAL Spirit of the Rally Award.
At Service after Stage 11, the cat and mouse game continued with Gallagher and Jennings both holding station, but Jennings steady run had been interrupted by a brush with a kerb requiring repairs to the steering at service.
The longest stage of the day, the 7.8 mile Longmoor, saw David Wright's excellent run come to an end in a field when he hit a hole and went through the fence! Gareth MacHale hit the same hole and although he managed to leave the stage, his car was in a sorry state. Although he didn't lose too much time, road penalties dropped him well down his deserved order.
Stage 14 was a rerun of the morning's Eelmoor stage, and Sykes again had an argument with a chicane which had been tightened up, losing a wing mirror in the process. Jennings said at service, "I want to increase the pace, it's killing me, this steady run!" He continued though, with the 206 Super Cup title well and truly in his sights. Moore was looking happier, he had posted 3 fastest stage times to this point, and he was to take the last stage as well, to share all the stages with Gallagher today. But he had decided that he wasn't going to catch Gallagher, so wasn't doing anything stupid and commented at the end that he was a "happy bunny!".
Considering Mick Linford was thrown in at the deep end in the celebrity 206 Super Cup car, posting 8th overall was no bad result, in front of Matt Jessup. Local crew Trevor Martin took 7th. Olly Marshall said of his new steed, "She's not a bad little bus!" as he posted 6th overall at the end, a result which netted him the Motorsport News Award for best improvement in seeding. Phillipeddes really didn't like this event - a "cross country cow" was his description and with his tracking first off to the right, then the left, he was pleased to end in 5th overall. Richard Sykes is always exuberant, and was delighted to have posted his best result of the season.
Jennings was "well pleased" at his result - third on the event didn't matter, it was the title which counted. "It's been a long time coming", he beamed at the final ramp, parking up alongside his prize- the Peugeot Super 1600 car. His prize is a works drive in that car with Peugeot, contesting the Peugeot Sport programme for next year, likely to be the British Rally Championship.
And with Chris Moore taking the runner up spot, Shaun Gallagher was left ruefully considering the 12.5 seconds which made up his three second places on earlier events so close have the events been. The champagne was sweet, but not sweet enough to compensate for that disappointment. All through the event "0.9 seconds" as the margin for his second place in Ulster, was going through his mind. And the valuable 5 points that went with it. The championship margin today - 5 points!
Note: All 206 Super Cup championship places provisional pending post event scrutineering results. <pre> Results: 1 Gallagher 1:15:16.6 2 Moore 1:15:40.7 0:24.1 3 Jennings 1:16:32.4 1:15.8 4 Sykes 1:17:28.1 2:11.5 5 Philippedes 1:17:47.7 2:31.1 6 Marshall 1:18:36.7 3:20.1 7 Martin 1:19:26.4 4:09.8 8 Linford 1:20:00.5 4:43.9 9 MacHale 1:21:05.1 5:48.5 10 Jessup 1:23:19.7 8:03.1 11 Mullen 1:25:05.9 9:49.3