The lack of alternative rally venues at the moment has meant that all rounds so far have been run on Phils Rally & Hillclimb stages, and it was not much different this week……..well, apart from one SLIGHT alteration. Those drivers who arrived early enough to get in some pre-race practice were stunned to find their car launching airborne partway round the rally circuit as it hit a hitherto unseen & cunningly constructed jump coming off the bridge at the top of the hill. Shocked drivers were immediately seen performing drastic emergency surgery on some cars that couldn’t make it over the ‘ump…..and from many comments overheard a good many drivers also had the ‘ump…….with the builder of this devious device ! What’s next we wonder…..something like this perhaps ?
Or this ?
In any event, this little hazard certainly threw the cat amongst the pigeons in this round…….and juggled up the results significantly. The top 2 placegetters from the 3 rounds prior to this (Phil & myself) were brought down to earth with a giant thud, with yours truly spending more time off the track than on it & scraping a very fortunate 5th. Phil, ironically, was bitten even worse by his own track tampering & went from 1st in every round so far…down to 10th in this round. There were, however some excellent drives on the night and it was John Batich who adapted brilliantly to the new obstacle to record a huge win by some 4 seconds over Rhys, who was in a clear 2nd place. Dave Schofield, in another great drive, grabbed 3rd just ahead of Rob Golley in 4th. A matter of 0.22 seconds behind in 5th was myself ahead of the other two Daves (Bantoft & Gray) in 6th & 7th with only 0.3 seperating them. The next two spots were also very closely fought, with Chris Priest in 8th a mere 0.17 secs ahead of Adrian Gray in 9th. Phil in a very unfamiliar spot rounded out the top 10 with Tom Males & Leigh Stephens completing the driver lineup for the round.
1st – John,
2nd – Rhys,
3rd – Dave Schofield
Over to the hillclimb….and it was a case of a huge form reversal for many of the drivers over the previous rounds results….some in a good way….some not.
Adrian Gray finally showed the result that his very quick car has promised all series to grab top spot on the podium. Phil showed his class & clawed his way back from the depths of despair to once again figure at the pointy end of the field in a clear 2nd, with yours truly managing a clear round (until the very last corner !) which was good enough for a 3rd. Rob Golley (4th) & Rhys (5th) were probably the two most consistent drivers across both tracks this week, with Dave Schofield (6th) not far behind them. Very solid driving from all three. Dave Gray grabbed 7th in a good drive, and Leigh Stephens had a great result to finish in 8th and has shown plenty of improvement over a very short space of time. Dave Bantoft took 9th & Chris Priest 10th, ahead of a consistent Thomas Males in 11th. The Chocolates to Boiled Lollies award though, must go to John Batich this week. JB somehow managed to turn a 1st in round 5…..into a last place the very next round. Doesn’t make a lot of sense does it ? Well, not much of this week rallying did ! What Phil will have in store for the next (& final) round is anyones guess!!!
1st – Adrian,
2nd – Phil,
3rd – Mal