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Pirelli Rally 2008
RALLY NEWS No.7 - After SS14 - Tuesday @ 17:15:41
 
RALLY NEWS NO.7 Airfield Service/Saturday 6.45

UNOFFICIAL LEADERBOARD AFTER STAGE 14 PUNDERSHAW – FINAL STAGE
1st (1) Guy Wilks/Phil Pugh (Lancer N) 1.31.42.9
2nd (3) Juho Hanninen/Mikko Markkula (Lancer N) 1.32.38.4
3rd (4) David Higgins/Ieuan Thomas (Impreza N) 1.34.13.7
4th (6) Phillip Morrow/Daniel Barrett (Lancer N) 1.34.21.1**
5th (5) Patrik Flodin/Goran Bergsten (Impreza N) 1.35.05.7
6th (7) Stuart Jones/Andy Bull (MG S2000) 1.35.28.8
7th (8) Eyvind Brynildsen/Maria Andersson (Lancer N) 1.36.50.0
8th (15) Jonny Greer/Jonny Hart (Lancer N) 1.38.15.3
9th (11) Wyn Humphreys/Rob Fagg (Impreza N) 1.39.07.2
10th (16) James Wozencroft/Chris Ridge (Impreza N) 1.40.47.7
** Unofficial corrected time

Guy Wilks was able to afford to relax on the final stage of the rally through Pundershaw which allowed young Finnish driver Juho Hanninen to score a fastest time which cemented his 2nd place. For Guy Wilks and his co driver Phil Pugh this was the best possible start to their Tesco 99 Octane British Rally Championship title defence. David Higgins brought his new Impreza into 3rd just ahead of Patrik Flodin and Phillip Morrow dropped a place with a slow time on the final stage.

When Guy Wilks brought his Mitsubishi Lancer into the final service he said. “We kept the hammer down in the dark last night, made the job easier for ourselves today. But then I kept pushing, kept the concentration today and took no risks. I enjoyed it. The dry stages were good and it was also good for the spectators today”. At that Dick Cormack of Pirelli tyres appeared at Guy’s elbow to congratulate him and Guy was quick to say “Good tyres!” Juho Hanninen in 2nd place said. “We make no mistakes on the last three stages. OK maybe fastest on last stage but Guy was a little faster on the rally. I believe I have to be satisfied with this result.” David Higgins in 3rd place said about his new Subaru Impreza. “We got it working a lot better as the rally progressed. There are a few areas where we can improve. On the last 3 stages there was a cleaner line, we really leant on it. It was good”. Phillip Morrow got his Mitsubishi gearbox changed in just 19 minutes at last service and he said. “It was a magnificent effort by the crew and I didn’t want to let them down. I pushed hard but nothing stupid. On the middle stage I got a bit ragged and pulled back”. Stuart Jones rounded off the top 6 and he said. “The plan was to try and finish in the top 5 so we were close. We did nothing crazy, I wasn’t about to try and set the world alight. The car is good and should be very strong on the Ulster and Isle of Man rallies on the tarmac”.

Further stories included: Darren Gass broke a brake pipe in his Lancer and was very happy to get through the last stage. Swedish driver Joakim Nyman won class R2 and was best 2 wheel drive in his Fiesta. Joakim said. “We had some problems with puncture but otherwise a clean run”.

In the C2R2 Cup Andy Hockridge, whose Citroen is prepared by Geoff Jones, scored maximum points. Martin Roberts came into 2nd and Marty McCormack 3rd despite gearbox problems last night and having to run in Super Rally. Matt Cotton rolled his example and Nathan O’Connor went out with more punctures.

A late retirement was Brian O’Mahony whose Clio stopped 2 miles from the end of stage 11 when the rear suspension trailing arm just broke. Further news on the Jim McRae accident. Andy Richardson has been released from hospital, his back only jolted. Jim however has a broken sternum and also needed an operation on his wrist to pin and plate it.

In the Pirelli National Rally Gary Cooper in his Impreza took victory with Alastair Fisher 2nd overall and top Fiesta. Steve Bannister was 3rd in his Escort: Paul Ward 4th in another Subaru and Elfyn Evans 5th o/a and 2nd Fiesta. Alastair Fisher was flat out through the forests and loved the last 3 stages. This was Alastair’s first win on gravel stages in the British series. He had no problems although had one lucky reprieve when the car stopped, happily on a road section, when a plug fell out of the back of the dashboard. Elfyn Evans had a puncture on the 2nd stage but lost little time and admitted that it just didn’t click today. Liam Regan who had “Dashers” co-driving finished inside the top 10, 4th Fiesta behind James Everard, following brake problems.

BRIAN & LIZ PATTERSON www.rallynews.net Our thanks to all who supported and helped with the Rally News service.
 
 
 
 



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