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Pirelli Rally 2008
RALLY NEWS No.6 - After SS11 - Tuesday @ 17:15:06
RALLY NEWS NO.6 Airfield Service/Saturday 4pm

1st (1) Guy Wilks/Phil Pugh (Lancer N)
2nd (3) Juho Hanninen/Mikko Markkula (Lancer N)
3rd (4) David Higgins/Ieuan Thomas (Impreza N)
4th (6) Phillip Morrow/Daniel Barrett (Lancer N)
5th (5) Patrik Flodin/Goran Bergsten (Impreza N)
6th (7) Stuart Jones/Andy Bull (MG S2000
7th (8) Eyvind Brynildsen/Maria Andersson (Lancer N)
8th (15) Jonny Greer/Jonny Hart (Lancer N)
9th (11) Wyn Humphreys/Rob Fagg (Impreza N)
10th (9) Robert Swann/Darren Garrod (Impreza N)

Guy Wilks really got the hammer down through stages 10 and 11, and indeed in stages 8 and 9 as well, fastest on all 4 stages. Guy’s Mitsubishi Lancer team mate Phillip Morrow struggled with a damaged gearbox while Mark Higgins and French driver Simon Jean-Joseph retired their respective cars in stage 8 following damage sustained in a hole in the road that had developed. To add to all of this there was further drama in stage 11 where someone had dragged a tree across the road, and then parked an oil drum and a granite block in the road. Several drivers were badly affected including James Wozencroft who dropped out of the top 10 when his Impreza sustained two punctures against the granite block.

When Guy Wilks came into service his co driver Phil Pugh reported that they had had a good run, weren’t trying overly hard but they were getting a lot more grip, the gravel that they had encountered earlier was cleaned away. Phil did report a big moment on that stage 11 when they came over a crest and straight through the tree that was lying in the road. Juho Hanninen said. “Going OK, it is better than earlier but still Guy is faster. We try for a good rhythm but the gap is now too big and we do not take big risks. It is good practice on the gravel for our next 2 rallies, Portugal and Greece, where it will be our first time also”. David Higgins has moved up into 3rd following the retirement of his brother Mark. David said. “We have made some big improvements to the Impreza and it went well”. David went on tot talk about the tree and the barrel in the stage and he wasn’t pleased. When asked about Mark he still did not the full story and said he had seen him pulled in at a junction in stage 11, and there seemed to be some smoke from the engine bay. Stuart Jones who was in a similar car to Mark is certainly going very well. He said he has made a few changes to the car and the gap is closing to the car in front.

Phillip Morrow told us about his gearbox problem. “We have no 4th or 5th gear, we’re revving the nuts off the engine. I think I only changed gear twice in that last stage, I can only keep it in 3rd. It takes 20 minutes to change the box, so it is a tall order but I really hope they get it changed because these last 3 stages suited me this morning. They are really fast and I want to have a go at getting 3rd place”. Eyvind Brynlidsen said. “It feels like the car is getting sucked into the ground, on uphill sections I am changing from 5th to 4th gear, doing nothing stupid, driving around the big stones”. James Wozencroft was very unhappy about his 2 punctures. He reckoned that it cost him 3 minutes when he caught the granite rock avoiding the barrel. Jonny Greer is setting a nice pace now looking fairly comfortable in 8th place. At the last service after stage 7 Wyn Humphreys decided to fit the tyres he had used last night but those ones had some grooves cut to counteract the wet conditions. Of course it was dry today and the tyres went off. Robert Swann burst the rear shock absorbers on the same hole in stage 8 that caught out Jean-Joseph and Danny Barry. Robert also punctured a tyre at the barrel site in stage 11. Danny Barry broke the intercooler and radiator on that hole in stage 8, the damage forcing him out of the rally. Hugh Evans lost 15 minutes earlier today when he slid his Subaru off the road, but has been going very nicely since and although well down the order he joked. “It certainly beats a day at the office!” Provisionally Andrew Hockridge leads the C2R2 Cup contenders from Martin Roberts after stage 11.

In the Pirelli National Rally which started at lunchtime today Richard Sykes was leading, while Alastair Fisher was 2nd o/a and leading the Fiesta category from Elfyn Evans. Everard was 3rd in the Fiestas and Liam Regan 4th.
More news later: BRIAN & LIZ PATTERSON www.rallynews.net

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