Motorsport news

The fourth round of the HRCR Mini Sport Cup kicked off in Dun­dren­nan.

Mini Magazine - - Contents -

The Cham­pi­onship is now at the halfway point and, as al­ways, the Mil­i­tary Ranges took their first vic­tims early on, with Round 3 champs Ian Clare/Antony Elkes struck down with a bro­ken drive shaft in Stage 3, re­sult­ing in a tow back to the ser­vice area. Ian and Ant’s team worked fran­ti­cally to fix the is­sue in such a tight time slot to get the lads back out ready for Stage 4, but ul­ti­mately fate was against them, as the duo suf­fered a failed dif­fer­en­tial, end­ing their event.

Ly­ing in sec­ond from the off, Team Mini Sport’s John and Martin Cressey were forced into early re­tire­ment from the rally at the end of Stage 3, with a bro­ken bot­tom pul­ley. De­spite the team’s best ef­forts, time be­tween Stages was not on their side and the is­sue couldn’t be solved. To pre­vent the risk of any un­nec­es­sary (and ex­pen­sive!) dam­age to the crank, John and Martin sadly called it a day.

A run in with a wall in Stage 5 ended the Rally – and per­haps the rest of the 2018 Cham­pi­onship – for Andy Walk­ing­shaw and Lewis Grif­fiths, who af­ter pick­ing up the pace and get­ting caught up on some loose gravel, hit said wall which re­sulted in ex­ten­sive dam­age to the left side of the Mini – even dis­lodg­ing the en­gine! Andy com­mented “it’ll be up to my wife if I’ll be ral­ly­ing again”!

UN­FOR­TU­NATE IN­CI­DENTS

Shane Gam­ble and Bob Ward suf­fered an un­for­tu­nate in­ci­dent in Stage 3, cost­ing them valu­able sec­onds, Shane ex­pressed he felt that “it just hasn’t gelled for us to­day”. Still, this wasn’t enough to stop them fin­ish­ing sev­enth in MC2 and sev­enth over­all.

It was a suc­cess­ful event for Peter Ellerby and Ben An­der­son, who up to Solway had yet to fin­ish a Rally this year, un­til Peter’s Mini started hav­ing elec­tric is­sues! How­ever, with the sheer de­ter­mi­na­tion of Peter and Ben they per­se­vered and fin­ished fifth in MC2 and fifth over­all.

It was an­other chal­leng­ing event for Craig King and Clare Bird, who had some trou­ble in Stages 2 and 3, where their ex­haust was hang­ing off! Craig said: “It was so noisy that I couldn’t hear Clare’s calls! Luck­ily, we got it fixed back on but it was still noisy as it was blow­ing.” The ex­ces­sive noise didn’t stop them though, fin­ish­ing eighth in MC2 and eighth over­all.

The early ex­its of Ian Clare and Antony Elkes and John Cressey and Martin Cressey blew the Open Class wide open. All for fel­low Mini Sport spon­sored crew Louise Thomas and Heidi Wood­cock, AKA the Mini Girls Rally Team, to take ad­van­tage and bat­tle for the top spot against Martin Melling and Alex Hol­l­i­day.

Fu­elled on by sweets and songs, Louise and Heidi were hav­ing a great run de­spite a slight ‘mo­ment’ on Stage 4 with some loose gravel and over­shoot­ing a hair­pin, the girls man­aged to hold on, their grow­ing con­fi­dence re­sult­ing in first in MC4 and 10th over­all. Louise and Heidi also chose Solway to play their ‘Joker,’ mean­ing that the girls will get dou­ble points for this event and shake up the points ta­ble!

CHANGE OF PACE

Af­ter early suc­cess in the 2018 Ju­nior Mini Sport Cup with a 998cc en­gine — of­ten set­ting times that were quicker than many of the crews in the main Cham­pi­onship, Team Mini Sport’s Jack Hartley/Gary Dawes had a change of pace — swap­ping to 1275cc and mov­ing to MC2 to put Jack and Gary into the Mini Sport Cup and see what Jack could do with that ex­tra power! Set­ting tongues wag­ging in the ser­vice area, and de­spite a few very slight is­sues with the Mini, there was no stop­ping Jack and Gary who landed a podium fin­ish — third in MC2 and third over­all.

Jim Brindle and Sam Bould had a strong fin­ish once again, hav­ing set quick times through­out the day, even find­ing them­selves in a tie with Jack Hartley and Gary Dawes at the end of Stage 8! The fi­nal two Stages were the de­cider, with Jim and Sam fin­ish­ing fourth in MC2 and fourth over­all.

David Evans and Tom Alek­sanddrow­icz also had a great re­sult, David ex­plained: “It’s a bit rough out there re­ally, but it’s go­ing all right. We did hit a bank in Stage 2, but luck­ily we rolled right back off and got go­ing again!” Good news for David and Tom that they car­ried on, fin­ish­ing first in MC3 and ninth over­all — their high­est re­sult in the Cham­pi­onship so far!

Roy Jarvis and Luke Greaves were hav­ing a good run, get­ting quicker and quicker through­out the course of the day, but were un­for­tu­nately struck down with gear is­sues which re­sulted in them loos­ing around 15 sec­onds, how­ever Roy and Luke ac­cel­er­ated on­wards to fin­ish sixth MC2 and sixth over­all. Barry Sten­house and Ca­trin Jones also had a good run with no is­sues, with Barry jok­ing that “my light­weight nav­i­ga­tor is speed­ing us up”! Even­tu­ally fin­ish­ing ninth in MC2 and 11th over­all.

Team Mini Sport’s Clive King and An­ton Bird were back fight­ing fit with their new en­gine, with Clive go­ing on to add: “With the slippy con­di­tions we’re just be­ing a lit­tle cau­tious, but the en­gine’s do­ing great – I’m just hav­ing to drive a lit­tle dif­fer­ently and get used to the quicker gear changes. It’s pulling stronger!” Clive and An­ton were even hav­ing to flag down and re-route Martin Melling and Alex Hol­l­i­day who man­aged to take a wrong turn head­ing to Stage! It wasn’t the only good-deed Clive and An­ton did that week­end, they also had to save Shane and Bob from sleep­ing on so­fas at their ho­tel af­ter a book­ing mishap meant their room was given away! Clive and An­ton to the res­cue in­deed… all that and the su­per­hero duo still had time to fin­ish sec­ond in MC2 and sec­ond over­all!

Con­grat­u­la­tions go to Ray Cun­ning­ham and Jared Gill who have grabbed them­selves an­other round win! Ray and Jared were set­ting the fastest times through­out the Stages and the car ran fault­lessly. Ray went on to say “we’re hav­ing a blast! It’s just pretty slippy un­der the trees and the hair­pins do creep up rather quickly”! They were placed first in MC2 and first over­all.

The gen­er­ous Yoko­hama prize of two reg­u­la­tion tyres, used through­out the Cham­pi­onship, was won by Jack Hartley.

POST-EVENT SCRUITINEERING

Ray Cun­ning­ham and Jared Gill, plus Jim Brindle and Sam Bould’s Mi­nis were pulled up for post-event scru­ti­neer­ing by the MSA. How­ever, as with Clive King and An­ton Bird at Abing­don, there was noth­ing to re­port — all cars com­plied to Cham­pi­onship reg­u­la­tions.

Words and Pho­tog­ra­phy Cara Jack­son

Tak­ing the podium. Jared Gill, John Hunt and Ray Cun­ning­ham.

It was an­other vic­to­ri­ous week­end for Ray Cun­ning­ham and Jared Gill. Lead­ing the line up: Shane Gam­ble and Bob Ward.

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