Racing summary – Shelmore Park (11/8/20)
WRC Rally (2WD)
The first round of the latest Rally series got underway at Phils rally & hellclimb track this week. And initially it seemed to me that the tone of conversation had been taken up where it left off at the last round I attended. Talk revolving around “ribbed rubber” was interesting to say the least, and when Phil also piped up that the “Ribbed rubber” provided extra sensitivity, well, it took a while for us to establish that all this banter was referring to Thomas Males rally car, and the state of his tyre preparation! Luckily no-one there was crude enough to enquire as to what flavour they came in…..
When the racing got underway……it stopped again. Firstly it was Rob who took 3 goes to finally decide what car he was going to drive, and eventually settled on driving Nicks, owing to the fact that his was reluctant to move. Next up, during Adrian’s first attempt, a track break forced the 3rd or 4th aborted run for the night, and things were not off to a good start. However, once this was fixed the rest of the pound progressed without incident as all drivers circulated on both the rally & the tough hillclimb track successfully.
Phils local rally experience once again came to the fore and he took out the combined stages and the round in his Toyota Corolla well clear of Sebastian Loeb’s Citroen in 2nd. One of the worlds great drivers, Loeb found himself in the unusual position of being well off the pace in 2nd, due entirely to the fact that sadly he wasn’t driving, I was ! John Batich bookended the top 3 in another Corolla to finish in 3rd. Rob, with Nicks car, came in 4th ahead of Dave Bantoft in a good solid 5th, proving that his pre-event pessimism was ill-founded. Rhys in 6th just pipped Adrian Gray for 7th, who in turn was ahead of Dave Gray in 8th with another good solid drive. Thomas Males’s ribbed tyres proved difficult to master and he was proxied into 9th with Chris Priest rounding out the top 10 in a good quality field.
1st - Phil, 2nd - Mal, 3rd - John