Slate re­turn un­likely for Rally GB Na­tional

Motor Sport News - - Rally News -

Wales Rally GB’S Ben Tay­lor has ad­mit­ted that it was an er­ror for the Na­tional Rally to fea­ture the Slate Moun­tain stage, which com­peti­tors la­belled as “dam­ag­ing” to cars.

The two runs around the for­mer quarry fea­tured a sur­face lined with large rocks that had been ex­posed by the World Rally and WRC2 cars which had run ear­lier on the stage.

Tay­lor, the rally’s manag­ing di­rec­tor, said: “With the ben­e­fit of hind­sight we could have taken that stage out of the na­tional rally for the sake of the three kilo­me­tres [1.86 miles] of stage mileage it gave us.

“We’ve worked hard to try and resur­face there but the rain re­ally didn’t help. It left for the Na­tion­als a route that was per­haps worse than we an­tic­i­pated it would be.”

Although the WRC driv­ers ap­peared to en­joy the test, with Hayden Pad­don call­ing it “a nice lit­tle stage”, the ma­jor­ity of the Na­tional com­peti­tors had com­plaints about it, but it was driv­ers of his­toric cars who were most vo­cal.

His­toric win­ner Gary Smith said: “It’s hor­ri­ble, I haven’t been able to put any power down, I’ve just been driv­ing round to fin­ish. They shouldn’t have let his­toric cars through there be­cause it’s too dam­ag­ing for th­ese cars. It’s just silly.”

Robert Beales, who en­tered a Volk­swa­gen Bee­tle, added: “Slate Moun­tain was a to­tal disas­ter. On our sec­ond time through I just backed off be­cause there were stones so big with sharp edges that they would’ve wrecked the car.”

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