Rowan singles out ‘super stage’ as potential deciding factor in Circuit of Ireland result
The 19-mile Glens stage has the potential to affect the Circuit of Ireland leaderboard more than any other stage, according to British Rally Championship navigator John Rowan.
Circuit bosses have joined the Glendun and Torr Head stages together to create the longest test in this year’s Circuit, and Rowan believes getting it right will be crucial. Rowan and his team-mate Josh Moffett are chasing a strong points haul on the event to boost their British Rally and Irish Tarmac Championship title aspirations.
“I know the roads pretty well, some of them I drive every day on my way to work,” explained Rowan. “I’ll use that to help Josh as much as I can when we are making our pacenotes during the recce.
“On every rally there is a stage that can shape who finishes where and who ends up winning – and the Glens stage is one of those. Concentration will be key during it. It is going to be such an important stage for us. If we can minimise time loss on the Glens and can stay within touching distance of the cars ahead of us then we stand a really good chance of finishing on the podium in either one of the two championships.”
What could also have a bearing on the final standings is running order, with those registered for the European Championship seeded higher irrelevant of their class. ERC R2-spec cars will run ahead of nonregistered R5 and S2000 crews on the rally. Moffett and Rowan are one of a number of crews that have decided against paying out for priority seeding, which is said to cost around £2000.
“R2 cars are known for blocking stages and if that happens nominal times come into play,” he said. “Some will register for the ERC just to benefit from a better road position, but it’s certainly not cheap.” ● Moffett is seeded 39th, but is the highest seeded R5 that hasn’t registered for ERC.