As Matt and I are not doing a stage rally championship this year, we’ve been taking it in turns to drive on stage rallies. Technically it was “my turn” to drive at Wethersfield but having driven last year, I was happy to co-drive this time and so Matt took the right hand seat.
The event got off to a slightly more eventful start than we would have liked. Having completed noise and scrutineering, as we headed to where we were staying Matt wasn’t sure where he’d put the rally car keys. We pulled over into a lay-by and started going through everything. The car was locked having put it back on the trailer but we had no idea where they were; until Matt found them on the roof of the rally car! By this time we had already called back to friends at scrutineering and were over 10 minutes down the road. Suffice to say, we were very lucky.
Completing noise, scrutineering and documentation the night before meant a slightly more relaxed start to Sunday. We were in a very competitive class with plenty of more powerful cars and we knew it was going to be a tough day. We both really enjoy Wethersfield with the mix of fast, sweeping bends which require commitment and the narrower, more technical sections.
We were sat fifth in class, and setting some competitive times but unable to keep up with the pace and power of some of the crews ahead. A retirement in front of us moved us up to fourth and whilst we were trading times with crews around us, we were starting to run out of tyres. We changed from Hankook to Dunlop rally slicks and they just didn’t seem to have the grip (nor did Matt have the confidence with them) and we were losing time. A change of strategy for SS5 and it worked; back on the pace and we had enough tyres for SS6! Matt was driving out of his skin and did the same on SS6. It was enough for us to hold on to 4th in class, a good result on a competitive day.