21st October 2021
Driving their Part-Box sponsored Ford KA, Adrian and Matt Walk of Walk Motorsport were recently involved in a thrilling gravel rally in Radnor Forest. The Woodpecker rally was the pair’s first gravel rally for two years and it was sure to be a tough one with the roads in Radnor featuring several long straights that require a team’s full commitment.
Adrian and Matt went into the race a bit rusty but with a newly fitted engine, equipped with Piper Cams and a Quaife Close ratio gearbox, both supplied by Co-ordSport. Starting with a 6 mile long Stage One provided the perfect opportunity for the pair to get used to the car and the terrain and despite playing it safe on the dusty and slippery road, Adrian and Matt were caught out by a tricky turn just before the finish. They weren’t the only ones thwarted by the turn, with some crews even rolling at this point.
At 11 miles, Stage Two was longer and started with a fast series of corners before a sudden hairpin left which once again caught many drivers out and caused Adrian and Matt to half spin in front of the camera crews.
Heading into service, the pair were second in class and the second 1400 car overall, 46 seconds off the team in first place. With Stages Three and Four being a repeat of the first two, Walk Motorsport had the opportunity to improve on their times from the morning and move into first place. They made the most of the opportunity, knocking 12 seconds of their Stage one time and then taking 32 seconds off the class leader in Stage Four. Going into the final 11 mile stage, Adrian and Matt were 14 seconds off the class and had the overall 1400 lead.
At this point, the car was feeling the effects of the rough track with the rear suspension groaning with every bump and the exhaust starting to split. Despite these issues, the pair set out with the class win in their sights. After clipping a chicane with the rear of the car, the bumper was pulled off slightly and Adrian and Matt’s car started to fill with dust, making the last 8 miles rather difficult. However, the race ended with no further problems and all that was left was to await the final results.
Having trailed the leader by 14 seconds, Adrian and Matt finished 19 seconds faster and claimed the class win by just 5 seconds. This fantastic result meant the pair made history as the first ever 1400C class car to win the 1400’s outright on a BTRDA Championship event! The rally made up a round of the Welsh championship and Adrian and Matt’s victory puts them just 3 points off the class lead with 2 rounds remaining in the competition. Their next event in the KA will be the Cambrian Rally in Llandudno on the 30th October.