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Words from Matt Walk:
Our 2020 season kicked off at the Agbo Rally, held around the grounds of Weston Park. After a long winter off rallying it was good to get back in the car, although the rain from last season had continued into this season. The rain combined with the mud dragged out onto the stages from the Historic rally the day before meant the stages were going to be very slippery, staying off the grass and out of trouble was the key to getting a good result. We started Stage One and decided to be cautious, not wanting to ruin our day in the first 3 miles, getting the car stopped for the junctions was the hardest part, but the Part-box.com supplied Mintex brake pads were up to the job, allowing us to brake hard and late without locking up. We made it through the stage third fastest in class. Stage two was a repeat of one, we now had the confidence to push. Despite being a bit too fast through the water splash, filling the car with mud we managed to get ourselves up to second in class going into the next pair of stages.
Stage three and four were very similar to the first pair, slippery everywhere. We were also having intercom problems. Despite this we held on to our second in class, increasing our lead over third and mixing it with some much more powerful cars. Stage five was the first using the lane over the back of the park. With a fast approach to some very tight, muddy corners that had caught some of the historics out the day before we decided to be cautious. The rain had also stopped which meant the surface was very greasy, mixed with the mud there was just no grip in places. Braking for a hairpin right on an off camber road lead to a sideways entry into it, we had to hang onto it at the time but it put a big smile on our faces when we came out the other side! The rain had returned to stage six which brough the grip back with it. After a quicker run through the stage we were lying second in class and 31st overall just after the halfway point.
Stage seven was the first run in the opposite direction, which was the way we preferred. We came through a fast right hander near the start totally sideways in front of the spectators which got us a cheer, we followed it up by braking just a touch to late for the next corner! A quick pull on the handbrake and we managed to scrabble round without losing too much time. The mud meant we ended up coming sideways through another corner, but sadly only the onboard camera caught that one! Stage eight was sadly cancelled after the lane claimed another victim, so it was straight on to the final two stages. We decided to have a big push on he last two stages. They suited our car, with a lot of tight corners and short straights, the Quaife gear kit supplied by Part-Box.com really came into its own, allowing use to use the power we had to give us the pull out of the corners we needed. The back of the car tried to escape on the approach to one chicane, we were sure we wre going to hit at least one bale, but somehow, we found a Fiesta Shaped gap in the bales and made it through. We the out braked ourselves for a square left, having to use the handbrake to save us. Despite this we set fastest time in class and were 18th fastest overall. We attacked again in Stage 10, winning our class again and setting 17th fastest overall. We climbed 7 places on the last two stages and won our class on 2 stages on route to 24th overall and 2nd in class. It was a great way to start our 2020 season, we have a lot to build on when motorsport gets back to normal. Once again, we’d like to thank Part-Box.com for their continued support this season, they have helped us build an awesome car!
- Matt Walk