Congratulations to Chris and James in the Get it Sideways event 21st April 2012...
21st April 2012
RallyeClass B – 1600cc
Driver: Chris Temple
Co-Driver: James Griggs
The Friday before the rally proved to be a busy one. This was to be the first ever event for our co-driver James.
The rally car still needed spanner checking, tracking and cleaning, In addition to that, we had no food for the weekend or spares for the spares box.
A little behind schedule, the car was spanner checked and the tracking sorted (Which took nearly 2 hours, due to a new rack) . After quickly waking the sump guard on and loading the 406 with all the spares, wheels, the marquee and jack we piled our overnight bags, race suits and helmets into the rally car and headed for Cirencester.
Luckily Chris's Grandparents live near Down Ampney so we had somewhere comfy (plus Grans Gourmet cooking!) to stay before the rally.
We passed scrutineering (based at BP Motors in Cheltenham) with no problems!
The Day of the Rally.
After an early start, we headed to the petrol station in the 406 and the rally car to fill up for the day. When we arrived at the venue, we met up with Istvan, our mechanic/tyre kicker for the day and found our spot next to our friends Colin and Lizzy (car 43) in the service area.
We had only brought 4 soft cut slicks and 5 road tyres that we had driven down on, and as it was dry-ish we decided to stick the slicks on for the first stages.
After a quick pains-au-chocolate and a banana we were ready to start the rally! SS1 was interesting, we had a small off after a chicane when we realised a bit too late how slippy it was and hit a barrier and some cones, subsequently lodging a couple under the back wheels causing us to spin on the next corner.
We then caught 2 Escorts, and had to follow them for about 2 miles while they fish tailed about on the slippery surface (not going very fast and getting in our way). We were right up behind one all the way down the long straight and despite us honking and flashing they would not let us pass! (this was very annoying!)
SS2 and 3 went much better as the stages started to dry out. We were quicker than Colin and Lizzy on SS2 which we were pleased with, but they were quicker on SS4 and 5. We smashed both our fancy new door mirrors to pieces through the tight chicanes, which we found very amusing until one of the mirror lenses popped and came in through the slider spraying James in the face!
We were improving steadily as James got to grips with the maps. Then, just before SS6 it looked like it was going to rain... big time! After a quick sneaky peak at what tyres Colin was putting on, we decided to go for the road tyres. Just as we stated fitting them, it started hammering it down! We got soaked, but just managed to stick the road tyres on and make it to time control with seconds to spare.
“Now go easy, this stage will not win us the rally, but could certainly lose us it” were the wise words from James as we start on the stage start. I responded to his comments by setting 8th fastest stage time, in the wet, on road tyres... probably the best stage I have ever driven!We were flying.
I have no idea how we made it round some of the corners as the grip was so varied and we hadn’t even set the tyre pressures so it was a bit wollowey.We came into service confident that we had set a faster stage time than Colin, and we had!
SS7 was not to go so well, we stuck with the road tyres and again were going very well until I started getting a bit confident through the chicanes(iinevitably led to us hitting one). We caught an MK2 going through one of the rough sections, there was a hairpin left, a tight 90 right and then into a right entry chicane, we were in 3rd and going way too fast. I turned and braked, but we just under-steered straight into the hay bale on the chicane! We hit it pretty hard, James took a battering from his harnesses, but the trusty little Peugeot fired up!
With the windscreen wipers going to clear the hay we carried on, we lost about a minute, and the car took a beating. We damaged the bumper, bonnet, drivers wing, door mirror and door... the mint 106 was now not so mint.
Just before SS8 it rained again so we stuck with the road tyres. We were improving as a team and setting some decent times. After a quick re-fuel and a few Skittles we headed out for SS9, it was raining hard again which we were pleased with, as this meant we could stick with our plan of taking it relatively easy and trying out the road tyres. Unfortunately, Colin and Lizzy’s diff exploded on this stage so they had to drop out of the rally, this bumped us up to 4th in class.
We went into the final stage feeling very nervous, we just wanted to finish so badly and it was a bit sad that Colin and Lizzy had dropped out.
We drove the stage harder for this one, clipping a couple of chicanes but setting a fairly decent time. We were so excited to have finished... we even drove the car home after the rally!
What a rally! To date this was the most enjoyable event to drive, and a true credit to James who did fantastically, especially for his first event, he is now hooked!
We finished 14th overall and 3rd in class, my best result ever!
Massive thank you to Ian, Jamie and Istvan for servicing and to our sponsors Lifeline and Old Hall Performance (Red Line Oil) for all their support.
Next event is rally of the Midlands!