Tempest expected. Michelin South of England Tempest Rally - Saturday 26th October - Leg 1 The thrilling finale to the Peugeot 206 Super Cup is taking place in the army based town of Aldershot this weekend, with the two main contenders for the...
Michelin South of England Tempest Rally - Saturday 26th October - Leg 1
The thrilling finale to the Peugeot 206 Super Cup is taking place in the army based town of Aldershot this weekend, with the two main contenders for the top prize Garry Jennings and Shaun Gallagher both finishing day 1, only a handful of seconds apart.
Irishman Shaun Gallagher can only hope that Garry Jennings falters as he has to win the event to clinch the title, and still depend on Jennings being sixth or lower. However, he has set out his stall and has led the event from the start, declaring that as he hasn't damaged the car all season, he isn't about to start now. He set fastest times on both the Hartford stages.
Second in the event, and aiming to win it outright is Geordie fireman Chris Moore. On Stage 2 a Scandinavian flick right-left went completely wrong and he ended up in a spin. However, only 5.3 seconds behind Shaun, he is contemplating upping the pace and going for the champagne. He has already set two fastest stage times this event! David Wright is settling to the 206 Super Cup very well, his third event with the pocket rocket netted him a fastest stage time on Stage 2. Marko Ramanen had set fastest time on the first stage, but turning in too early for a square left on Stage 5 saw him clip a tree and the subsequent radiator damage saw his retirement before the end of the stage.
Garry Jennings from Ballimanallard currently leads the championship, and only has to finish in the top five to be assured of the title. So his pace today early on was steady, probably as a result of self confessed nerves, but decided by Stage 4 to up to his more usual top speed. He was comfortable with that, despite the car jumping out of gear on the rougher stages second time through. He ends the day in 4th place, some 19 seconds above Gareth MacHale, the Dublin youngster still finding his feet on gravel, but certainly showing a good turn of speed.
Alun Pearson's car was still showing the scars from Ulster, and robbed co- ordinator Stella Boyles car of the grill and trim. He was second in the queue for bits though, Olly Marshall made his Cup debut after finishing the car off at 3am last night, delays caused by the painters originally painting the car pink! Not quite finished enough for the scrutineers though, and some trim components were robbed for him too! Greek George Philipeddes was "a tad slow" and is looking forward to being back in a more comfortable left hand drive Peugeot next year.
Richard Sykes moved back up to 6th after his stage time was corrected, Trevor Martin was a "bit steadier" but had a big spin on Stage 5 and was in the bushes. Matt Jessup found today "frustrating" after he nosed a bank and overcooked a hairpin. His car too is still looking slightly battlescarred after a testing event left him on his roof. Tommy Mullin from Ireland is also on his debut event, his improvement rate over the three stages left him absolutely delighted and just hopes that it continues tomorrow.
Last minute replacement celebrity car driver, Motorsport Manager Mick Linford, was delighted to be able to experience what the competitors go through, first hand. Setting some good stage times, he finished the first day rounding off the top ten, though he admitted only hearing the notes, not actually listening!
The event today consisted of three stages, service, and then the three stages repeated. The first of these was a 1.9 mile thrash through the army parade ground at Rushmore Arena, an amphitheatre absolutely ideal for rallying, especially as it was bathed in totally unseasonal warm sun. However, with tempest force winds and rain forecast for the ten stages tomorrow, it might just change the standings! The rally starts 07:30 from the town centre, and finishes over the podium at 15:25. <pre> Results:
1 S Gallagher/R Pashley 0:26:52.6 2 C Moore/S Merry 0:26:57.9 0:05.3 3 D Wright/M Panes 0:27:00.7 0:08.1 4 G Jennings/P Nagle 0:27:04.1 0:11.5 5 G MacHale/J Downey 0:27:23.4 0:30.8 6 R Sykes/C Parry 0:27:31.4 0:38.8 7 A Pearson/G Loughrey 0:27:33.2 0:40.6 8 G Philippedes/M Thake 0:27:46.7 0:54.1 9 T Martin/R Cleghorn 0:28:05.5 1:12.9 10 M Linford/N Dashfield 0:28:13.6 1:21.0 11 O Marshall/G Ingleby 0:28:25.2 1:32.6 12 M Jessup/A Carfrae 0:28:45.7 1:53.1 13 T Mullen/C Coyle 0:29:02.5 2:09.9