Peugeot 206 Super Cup Championship goes to the wire. The forests around Aldershot in Hampshire will reverberate to the sound of rally cars this weekend as the Michelin South of England Tempest Stages Rally hosts the final round of the Peugeot...
Peugeot 206 Super Cup Championship goes to the wire.
The forests around Aldershot in Hampshire will reverberate to the sound of rally cars this weekend as the Michelin South of England Tempest Stages Rally hosts the final round of the Peugeot 206 Super Cup.
With four different event winners this year the series is as hotly contested as ever and two drivers can still win the Peugeot works prize drive worth about £250,000 on the 66 mile gravel event. A 206 Super 1600 rally car awaits the victor for the 2003 British Rally Championship
The points system means that the competitors' two worst scores from the season can be discounted. As a result, although last year's runner up Garry Jennings goes to Aldershot with a slender two point lead, he only needs to finish in the top five to secure his place as a Peugeot Sport works driver in 2003. Previous championship leader Shaun Gallagher, however needs no less than outright victory to stand a chance.
It may then appear that the Championship is all but won. However Gallagher has hung on all year and despite a frustrating hat-trick of second places by the narrowest of margins, he pulled out all the stops for a brilliant first win in Le Touquet. His consistency and smooth driving style mean he is the only driver to have scored on every round whilst Jennings has rolled out from good points finishes twice this year.
The remainder of the drivers will not be put off by this scrap at the head of the leader board and several have set stunning times throughout the year.
Despite a non finish in France, Finn Marko Ramanen retains his third place in the series but third place on the event means Geordie Chris Moore has closed the gap ensuring a continued battle for the runners up spot at the end of the year.
Richard Sykes has potential to upset the front runners if he can overcome a run of bad luck that has cost him places on almost every rally this year. Amongst the ones to watch will be David Wright who led in Ulster. Despite only starting the series three events ago, the Lancastrian has muscled his way inside the top ten of the championship.
Dubliner Gareth MacHale has had a mixed season although some top five finishes will pile on the pressure for Jennings on the Tempest Stages. Greek George Philippedes continues the International feel of the event although he will not have far to travel from his new home in London.
Alun Pearson has promised much on previous rallies and a freshly repaired car means he will be giving maximum attack as an end of season flourish. British Rally Group A7 Champion Ollie Marshal is also out to make his mark on his debut 206 Super Cup rally.
With Irish crews Adrian McElhinney, James Halligan and Thomas Mullen adding to the 16 strong Peugeot 206 field, the rally starts at 12.00 on Saturday from Aldershot town centre with six stages centred around Rushmoor Arena.
Leg 2 starts on Sunday at 07.30 with nine more stages and the podium finish in Aldershot at 15.25 where the celebrations for both event and Championship will begin in earnest.