Pikes Peak Rally
Road book to the podium Starters 48 Result 7th
It’s fair to say that my debut into the rally world was a case of being thrown into the deep end. Based in mid Wales, Pikes Peak was a new event and the first dedicated road book navigational event to be run in the UK for 40 years. Unlike other UK rallies, this event was run solely on a road book (a scroll of paper with distances and diagrams used to find your way) meaning that competitors had to navigate their own way around the 90-mile route, reach hidden check points, adhere to speed controls, not to mention attempting to set the fastest time on the resultdefining 18-mile Special Stage.
Despite the brutal, core-freezing weather, my road book rally debut couldn’t have gone much better. With zero pressure or expectation on me to perform, I listened to the hard-earned advice from my mentor Moly, rode within myself and concentrated on the road book and navigating correctly. This strategy paid off and as a result I avoided any speeding penalties, reached all the hidden checkpoints, and because the AJP had such a large fuel tank it meant I didn’t have to re-fuel so I avoided the pre-set five-minute time penalty, which in turn propelled me up the leaderboard.
My day got even better when the results came out, in fact I couldn’t believe my eyes. From the 48 starters I finished seventh overall and third in the under-450cc Rally bike class, taking the scalp of a former Dakar rider on a full blown KTM rally bike!