Saturday 30 April 2016

Rally - Pirelli Rally

Time for tea with David

If Elfyn Evans is the fox in this year’s British Rally Championship then the hounds are smelling blood. He set off at a fair old lick this morning on the Pirelli Rally, but he and a few others beat the Bogey on the first stage so no advantage gained. He opened up a sizable lead on the second and then disaster struck on the third.

“I hit something in the grass. It was a big hit. I don’t know what it was, as I didn’t see it, but I felt the front right tyre go down,” said Elfyn, “and we drove it out on that for the last 5 miles.” His luck didn’t get any better in the fourth and final stage of the day: “We beat the Bogey by 27 seconds in a 13 mile test, so there will be little chance of pulling that back if there are any more cleanable stages tomorrow.”

That meant that Fredrik Ahlin leads overnight in his Skoda but by just 7 seconds from the similar car of David Bogie. “We had a slight off on the second stage this afternoon,” said David, “we just slid on the loose stuff into a ditch. We kept going and didn’t really lose much time, but we bent something at the rear.”

A further 7 seconds behind Bogie is Matthew Wilson. This is his first rally since the 2014 Rally Wales GB: “Admittedly I did a lot of testing for the Fiesta R5 in the early days but competition is different,” said Matthew, “I’m OK on the quick stuff but just struggling to find my braking points. We had a really good time in SS4 though so I just need to catch the Bogieman tomorrow!”

As for Euan Thorburn, he didn’t even survive the first stage in the Peugeot: “The belt which drives the power steering and alternator stripped its teeth and flew off. We just didn’t have enough juice to get out and get help!”

Lying second in the National Cup class is the Mitsubishi of Donnie MacDonald, 3 seconds behind Peter Stephenson in the Focus WRC, with Donnie holding 14th place overall. Freddie Milne is 19th, Alex Laffey 20th and Ian Baumgart 21st. John Morrison is 25th after misfiring through SS2 but a change of plugs got him back on form and Nigel Feeney is 27th but softening off the Subaru suspension for tomorrow.

Young Blair Brown is going well, 28th overall in the Fiesta and fifth Junior ahead of Lee Hastings (38th), Linzi Henderson (43rd) and Thaarique Fazal in 46th place at the overnight halt.

Interim Positions after 4 (of 7) stages:
1, F Ahlin, 39m 21.2s
2, D Bogie, 39m 28.5s
3, M Wilson, 39m 35.9s 
4, T Cave, 39m 42.7s 
5, E Evans, 40m 01.8s
6, M McCormack, 40m 08.0s
7, J Greer, 40m 26.1s
8, D Henry, 41m 14.2s
9, N Simpson, 41m 15.5s
10, J Anderson, 41m 15.9s

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