Three From Three for Welshman Rowlands Peugeot TOTAL 206 Winter Cup Round Three - The final 2003/2004 Winter Cup Round Wyedean Forest Rally 14th February 2004 - The third and final round of the Peugeot TOTAL 206 Winter Cup came to a new event...
Three From Three for Welshman Rowlands
Peugeot TOTAL 206 Winter Cup
Round Three - The final 2003/2004 Winter Cup Round
Wyedean Forest Rally
14th February 2004 - The third and final round of the Peugeot TOTAL 206 Winter Cup came to a new event this weekend; the Chepstow based Wyedean Forest Rally. With centralised service and the opening stage at the famous racecourse, it was Championship leaders Ieuan Rowlands/Kelvin Savage who led the field of nine Peugeot 206s away from the start.
Putting the pressure on 2003 KUMHO Clubmans Champion Ieuan Rowlands, wasnt to pay off for Irishman Gareth MacHale who led the Winter Cup until stage seven, losing his rally to Rowlands the newly crowned 2003/2004 206 Winter Cup winner, who also set four fastest stage times.
Proving that the Winter Cup remains as close as ever, Gareth MacHale was disappointed at being seeded so far down but was philosophical when told that actually he made a bigger improvement climbing back up and leading for most of the day.
Stage 1 was the start of the Rowlands/MacHale battle and Gareth was fastest by two seconds. Conscious that Rowlands wasnt far behind MacHale set a cracking time on Stage 4. But the Wyedean wasnt to be for Gareth, when three quarters of the way into Stage 8 the transmission jammed in 5th and limped out, retiring at the emergency point. He drops to third in the championship.
Rowlands could only dream of setting a new standard in the Winter Cup by securing three from three but admits; I had a slow start and found it hard to get into a rhythm. On Stage 8 I really pushed on and went for it but had a 100mph spin on a deceptive hair-pin. Stage 9 was the perfect stage for me though. I pushed on and attacked for the last stages and its paid off.
Alistair Moffatt, just recovered from his accident on round one of the Winter Cup, did a tremendous job at securing second on the final round. Having only just finished working on his car the day before the rally and narrowly missing a deer on Stage 4! Moffatt, who commented on the new controlled tyre from KUMHO as pleasing, played up to the spectators on Stage 8, Moffatt admits; I was having fun playing up to the crowd which lost me time!
Paul Jones, who has had mixed fortunes in the series with one second place and one retirement, was undeterred after running out of petrol and a slight off on Stage 3, finished third, but absolutely delighted as this moved him to second in the championship which was his aim for the day.
Fourth place goes to former British Touring Car driver Tom Boardman. Tom should be pleased with his initial stab at rallying but pressure was on for a finish today to get that all precious signature to upgrade his licence so that he can start the Sunseeker Rally.
Next is the ever-consistent Michael OBrien who finished fifth despite running two hours down and therefore plenty of cars apart from his championship rivals. Michael found a few pot holes and his back shocker on the stage before service. But still good, enjoying it, you can see by the mud on the car!
Recovering from a monumental accident in Scotland Richard Phillipson finished sixth. As the day goes on there is more grip and less mud and I am enjoying myself he commented.
Matt Barker suffered gear-linkage problems on stage two and had to retire, very disappointing as he convincingly won the 2003 205 Challenge and was keen to show his ability in more modern machinery. Barker had been pleased with his performance early on in the rally, taking it easy as it was slippery.
Finally Stephen Petch has family honour to fulfil. Having competed in other one make series, Stephen, son of Steve was forced to retire on Stage 2 after slipping off the road and hitting a tree stump smashing the sump. Ever hopeful at continuing, spectators pushed the car back on the road to no avail the car had lost all engine oil.
The three round mini series was designed to both allow prospective 206 Super Cup competitors to dip their toe in the water and to give existing competitors an opportunity to stay match ready in the winter close season in time for the start of the 206 Super Cup, and Peugeot is delighted to have achieved that.
The first round of the 2004 206 Super Cup season Rallye Sunseeker (28th February) is the next outing for the Coventry based outfit. <pre> Results
1 Ieuan Rowlands Kelvin Savage 48:44 2 Alistair Moffatt Mathew Pearce 49:44 3 Paul Jones Darren Garrod 50:02 4 Tom Boardman Shelley Rogerson 50:24 5 Michael OBrien Simon Coates 52:34 6 Richard Phillipson Brian Cammack 53:56