Quinton Stages Rally, July 2011
Builth Wells, Mid Wales.
Gareth Vickers (HMC member)/Martyn Vickers.
Peugeot 205 1.6 Gti (205 challenge spec)
Things didn’t get off to best of starts for this event, the alternator packed in on the tow vehicle on the way down and we only just made it to the Royal Welsh Showground in Builth Wells for scrutineering! The 205 didn’t let us down though and sailed through scrutineering and we once again camped at the scrutineering venue to save some pennies. The failure of the mighty Hilux Surf meant we would be using Martyn’s Alfa 137 for management service duties which was far from ideal.
This event was very compact, starting and finishing at the Epynt military ranges and using the gravel roads of the range and the surrounding forests. After easing ourselves back in to this rallying lark on the Plains we decided to push on a bit on this event and see what happened. The morning loop went well with no car issues or accidents etc, the stages were really enjoyable and quite dry without being to dusty. At midday service we were 5th in class, just 11 seconds behind 4th so our pace was encouraging and showing a marked improvement from the Plains.
The afternoon consisted of a repeat of the morning’s loop of stages, After the 5th stage over the fantastic Route 60 the gap to fourth in class was down to just 5 seconds. Determined to get 4th in class we pushed on again during the 6th stage Halfway only to come across the 4th in class crew off into the scenery with a minor off half way through the stage which broke their suspension so we duly took over 4th in class, we had a slight moment on this stage drifting wide on a tight down hill right hitting the bank (see photo on right).
Things started to go wrong during Stage 7 through Crychan forest, accelerating away from the stage start the gear stick was suddenly like a dick in a bucket as it slopped around, due to the gear linkage working loose! This also left us stuck in 4th gear with worries of not being able to get through the stage. Luckily the stage was fast and flowing with very few uphill sections or tight corners, we managed to get through dropping around 90 seconds in 5 miles with much abuse of the clutch! Despite the time loss no one in our class had caught us and we had actually gained a place due to 2nd in class Simon Chapman retiring his Corsa kit car after an excursion.
While back at service we were very lucky to find the offending gear linkage bolt still resting on the linkage so it was a simple fix, restoring the gear linkage to full functionality.
We attacked the final stage through Monument despite having little to gain or loose in the class placings, due to a big time gap to the car in front and behind. A decent time with no dramas saw us secure what we thought was 3rd in class, however 1st in class man Elfyn Evans in a Fiesta R2 decided not to hand in his time card so we were promoted to 2nd in class! I later heard that Elfyn was using his own pacenotes on the proviso that he wouldn’t be part of the results.
Then all we could do was wait for the AA to tow us home, I’ve certainly had my money’s worth out of my membership this year!
Result – 62nd out of 84 finishers (118 starters), 2nd in class.
A very enjoyable rally with excellent stages which held up well to double usage, compact route kept things flowing and costs down, chuffed to bits with the result!
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