19th May 2021
Walk Motorsport- Compbrake Stages
We were back in action for our first rally of the season, The Compbrake Stages. We’d planned to make the trip up to Three Sisters with the Swift, but some last-minute delays meant we had to switch to the Fiesta. We knew this event wouldn’t be a walk in the park, we had some serous competition from the North West Championship regulars.
The weather on the way up was awful, solid rain all the way up, which was perfect for us, but by morning the weather had changed and the Circuit was drying quickly. We decided to play it safe for the first pair of stages and chose wets. This proved to be the wrong choice, they were the safe choice for stage one, but by the second run they had overheated and were starting to break up. We also got caught behind an MG and we lost some time getting past, although we had more drama with traffic to come!
We switched to the soft slicks for Stage 3. We had to take it easy until we’d got some heat into them, we’d be caught out a couple of year ago here on cold slicks! Once we had some grip we could push. Stage 4 was better for us, although we lost yet more time catching the car in front at the end of the stage. Finally Stages 5 and 6 we had no traffic, the Tyres were perfect, and we could start to claw back some lost time. We got to the halfway point 3rd in class and 20th overall.
The afternoon stages were run in the opposite direction, which suits us and our car better. The Co-ordSport supplied Quaife Gearbox enabled us to make the most of the cars power on the short straights and gave us the pull we needed out of the tighter corners. Our biggest gains came on the long lefthander at the end of the straight. The Gaz Gold suspension, again supplied by Co-ordSport via Part-Box.com, meant we could carry almost unbelievable amounts of speed through this corner in particular. With this we were able to win our class on Stage 8.
This should have been the start of our fightback, but catching slower cars in the stage cost us dearly. We came out behind one of the Mini Challenge cars. Going down the straight, we thought he was letting us past going into the long lefthander, be as we were alongside he closed the door on us! We scrubbed off as much speed as we could, but we still made slight contact. He then pulled the same move on us again three corners latter with the same result! On stage 10 we came out behind the same car again, he again wouldn’t let us past, so we had to cruise round on half throttle behind him until he split off to the finish. We caught a BMW further round, he let us through, but the damage was done, we’d lost too much time to improve on our class position.
We had nothing to protect on the last pair of stages, so we just went flat out. We won our class on both of these stages despite the rain coming down for the last one. We finished 3rd in Class and 18th overall. It could have been better if it wasn’t for our traffic problems, but we were still happy with the result. It was the perfect way to blow the cobwebs off for our next event, The Red Dragon IT Stages at Down Ampney on the 29th of May.