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Pirelli Rally 2008
RALLY NEWS No.2 - End of first stage/Friday 9.45pm - Tuesday @ 17:03:44
RALLY NEWS NO.2 End of first stage/Friday 9.45pm

1st (1) Guy Wilks/Phil Pugh (Lancer N) 5.26.6
2nd (4) David Higgins/Ieuan Thomas (Impreza N) 5.32.1
3rd (3) Juho Hanninen/Mikko Markkula (Lancer N) 5.33.6
4th (6) Phillip Morrow/Daniel Barrett (Lancer N) 5.38.8
5th (5) Patrik Flodin/Goran Bergsten (Impreza N) 5.39.2
6th (14) Danny Barry/Mark Bowens (Lancer N) 5.48.7
7th (15) Jonny Greer/Jonny Hart (Lancer N) 5.49.5
8th (9) Robert Swann/Darren Garrod (Impreza N) 5.49.8
9th (8) Eyvind Brynildsen/Maria Andersson (Lancer N) 5.50.1
10th (2) Mark Higgins/Rory Kennedy 9MG S2000) 5.50.9

There wasn’t a lot to choose between the top drivers, as can be seen above just over 20s covering the top ten. But still on a 5 mile stage that can be pretty significant. Guy Wilks was first on the road and fastest, the British Rally Champion said. “It was quite slippy and damp, soft at the edges and I got sucked in at one hairpin and dropped a couple of seconds.” (A forester who was parked up at the end of the 1st stage told us that there had been torrential rain and gale force winds all day yesterday leaving the stage surfaces very wet indeed). Juho Hanninen was 2nd International car to come through the stage and he said. “OK, starting to learn”.

David Higgins in his new Subaru N14 was 3rd on the road, although carrying No.4 on his Impreza, and David commented. “A bit scrappy, it’s soft at the edges and this is a wide car”. When asked where was his brother Mark, he should have been running second on the road, David was able to tell us that he started behind him. Indeed when Mark appeared in the new MG S2000 he explained that the cam cover oil seal came adrift and he had to sort it out on the road section. Mark set 2nd fastest time, but the 20s road penalty dropped him back to 10th.

Patrik Flodin was next along and the Swedish driver was quickly out of the car and diving about under the bonnet to check if everything was OK, that there was some smoke from the car in the stage. Phillip Morrow then appeared, having set a pretty good time, but looking a little shell shocked and he said. “this left hand drive is not as easy as you think, I was clean off the road a couple of times”. A slightly damaged front mudguard on his Lancer was evidence of close contact with the Kielder countryside, but otherwise Phillip was fine!

Further stories from that first stage included – Eyvind Brynildsen said it was his first time with his co driver Maria Andersson and it was taking a little while to settle down. Robert Swann seemed fairly disgusted at stage finish when he told us that neither the anti lag or the launch control device were working on his Impreza. Pirelli Star Driver Award winner Darren Gass was well pleased with his new ADR Mitsubishi Lancer but had a couple of “wee spins” on that first stage. Wyn Humphreys told us it was his first time in a rally car since Rally GB and he felt really rusty. There wasn’t much wrong with his time – 5.53.4. Simon Jean-Joseph in the new C2R2 Max reported that his lights were moving about. His co driver Jack Boyere was shaking his hands in Gallic fashion when he said “Like this!” Simon’s time was 6.01.8. Danny Barry had a good run as did Jonny Greer while James Wozencroft, on only his 2nd driver in group N, was on 5.59.2.

More news later: BRIAN & LIZ PATTERSON www.rallynews.net

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