After a very challenging opening round of the British Rally Championship (BRC), the Pirelli RBF International Rally, Daniel, his Co-Driver Arthur Kierans and his team took 9th Overall and 3rd place in the Rally 2 category (R2), taking home 10 precious points for the Championship.
The event started early Friday morning in Kielder Forest, North of Carlisle on the Scottish Border, with the Special Stage Recce, Daniel and Arthur were happy with their days work, making their pace notes for the ultra-fast stages. It was then onto Kershope Forest for the pre-event shakedown where it was a last chance for the team to make any set up changes to the car and gain valuable seat time. After a successful shakedown the team were in high spirits, ahead of the first stage starting Saturday morning.
After a Ceremonial start in the city centre of Carlisle, Daniel and Arthur headed for SS1. They had a steady run through the stage, making no mistakes, setting the 3rd fastest R2 time, only 6 seconds of the pace. On then to SS2, and it wasn’t as simple, the crew clipped a rock, picking up a puncture and they also had an overshoot at a junction, dropping a minute to the R2 leaders. SS3 was a clean run although confidence was a bit low after the previous stage mishaps, the crew then went for 1st service in Carlisle Racecourse lying 6th overall in the R2 category and keen to make up for last ground.
SS4 the crew had a great run, setting the fastest R2 time on the stage by 0.1 of a second showing they had the pace to compete. On to SS5, the crew unfortunately picked up another puncture along with 11 other cars in the top 15 and dropped a further 45 seconds. There were no problems to report through SS6, where the crew finished the day 6th in the R2 category and 15th overall and a lot of work to do to make the weekend a useful one.
Sunday morning and the crew set themselves the goal to make it onto the R2 podium, as 3rd place was only 39 seconds ahead. Setting fastest time in R2 on SS7 the crew moved up to 4th only 6 seconds of 3rd place. Another fastest time on SS8, and the crew found themselves just 1 second of 3rd place.
SS9 and they had their 3rd fastest R2 time in a row, which was 6th fastest overall, moving Daniel and Arthur into 3rd place in R2. The crew ended the day with another fastest R2 time pulling them up to 9th overall, a brilliant recovery drive in light of having two punctures earlier in the rally. A mixed weekend for the team, but lots of positives to take home. 5 out of 10 fastest R2 times with two punctures shows that Daniel and Arthur should be in the thick of the action for the remainder f the season.
Next for the team is the Cavan Stages Rally in two weeks, where they will hope to get a good tarmac set up for the car, ahead of the second round of the BRC, a tarmac rally, The Jim Clarke International Rally in Kelso Scotland.
Daniel would like to take this opportunity to thank all of his sponsors, especially Scanbitz.Com and Ravenol Motoroil, High Performance Lubricants Ireland/UK. He would like to thank everyone for their support and well wishes before the event, and finally Sharkey Motorsport and his dedicated service team at the event. Daniel will be doing a pre event press release before the Jim Clarke Rally to let everyone know how preparations are going for the event.