EVANS AHLIN says...
V Shock as Swedish ace emerges as Brit’s closest BRC rival Title fight is on
After a frantic weekend, what has Mid Wales told us about the season to come?
Firstly, that it has all the hallmarks to be an intriguing and exciting encounter. The battle between Ahlin and Evans was brilliant to say the least, with tyres playing a crucial part. The covers may be very close together in reality, but they can provide a big difference when combined with the correct set-up.
As I explain in my column (see page 15), Evans was magnificent over the weekend, the winning margin doesn’t tell the story. But the Welshman was right in saying he couldn’t let Fredrik take the joker victory away. With the Swede showing he can arrive in the UK and be on the pace instantly, it bodes for a close battle in Carlisle and Scotland. Where the really intriguing battles will occur is on the tar.
Evans has demonstrated lightning pace on asphalt in the past, you only have to look at his podium in Corsica last year to see that he is as good – if not better – on the black top than the loose. Ahlin is very much a novice on asphalt, and on paper there isn’t a battle. But we know that the DMACK tyre is behind Michelin and Pirelli. So could that hinder Evans and bring the two closer together? For that, we’ll have to wait and see.
DMACK is working incredibly hard to improve its tyres – which aren’t that far off the pace anyway – so the margin to the other marques could decide the outcome.
Another man I expect to join the lead fight in the coming rallies is Tom Cave. He’s on Michelins for the asphalt rounds – accepted as the best asphalt tyre – and having got a rally under his belt after his massive off on the Red Kite Stages, he showed flashes of excellent pace in Mid Wales. A puncture played a major part in the loss of time, and aside from that he could well have been challenging with Ahlin and Evans for the victory. Jack Benyon
1 Donagh Kelly/conor Foley 2 Garry Jennings/rory Kennedy 3 Declan Boyle/brian Boyle 4 Daragh O’riordan/tony Mcdaid 5 Keith Cronin/mikie Galvin 6 Alastair Fisher/gordon Noble 7 Sam Moffett/karl Atkinson 8 Desi Henry/liam Moynihan 9 Kevin Kelleher/gwynfor Jones 10 Roy White/james O’brien
The first of the cars I climbed aboard was the Subaru Impreza of Leanne Richardson, who will compete in rallycross for the first time in 2016.
On pulling away from the start line, my first impression was that the Impreza’s acceleration was impressive given the weight of the basically standard saloon car. Producing around 220bhp out of the factory, the Impreza’s grunt propelled it around the twisty rallycross circuit at Blyton rather nicely. The suspension – which like everything else on the car is standard (aside from the safety modifications) – was soft to say the least but, even though the car wallows around under braking and on corner entry, it was very controllable and forgiving.
The standard, servo-assisted brakes take a little getting used to as the pedal is quite long, but they did work and well too. This Impreza was running standard road-going tyres at the test day, so it was easy to lock a wheel, and there was a lot of turn-in and mid-corner understeer, but that will be much improved when the car is fitted with some rallycross boots.
The car was very chuckable, especially on the loose section of the circuit, and had plenty enough power to get nice and sideways.
Production 4x4 essentials
This is a class for four-wheel-drive production cars. Only safety modifications are permitted. Most likely choice will be the Subaru Impreza, but Mitsubishi Lancer Evos could also appear, or even more exotic machines.
stage for a sequential version.
Super Modified should be the cream of the two-wheel-drive brigade in Clubmans rallycross, and this car proved that.
Super Modified essentials
In layman’s terms, as long as the car’s engine remains in the original location, and has the same number of cylinders as standard, then the rest is almost free, which produces a variety of interesting cars.