Saltash driver Alan Cookson and London co-driver Julian Wilkinson made the long trip north to Jedburgh in Scotland worthwhile when they recorded a superb seventh place finish overall on the Brick and Steel Border Counties Rally.
The crew were contesting the second round of the 2009 Pirelli MSA Gravel Rally Championship in their Robert Wiseman Dairies, Kick Energy, GillettsSpar.com, Kumho Tyres, Riverside Property Services and Olverelectrical.com supported Subaru Impreza World Rally Car and after a solid top ten placing on the opening round, were hoping for another decent points haul.
Placed 11th overall after Friday night’s two stages in darkness, the pairing gradually upped the pace throughout the day in the fast and dusty tracks of Kielder Forest, despite a puncture on SS4, to end up in seventh place after the seventy stage miles.
What’s more, the pair have elevated themselves into third place in the championship standings going into the next round, again in Kielder Forest when the Pirelli Tour of Cumbria takes place on April 17/18th.
“I’ve enjoyed it; the rally has been very good. We had dust in the car on Friday night and I was worried it was smoke, plus we were using different notes. Before the second to last stage we went to check the tyres and the front left valve was leaking, we had a problem with the jack too so we couldn’t get it changed but it was good and we got through. I’m pleased with the result.”
1 Marcus Dodd/Andrew Bargery (Hyundai Accent WRC) 57:33.7
2 Steve Perez/Paul Spooner (Ford Focus WRC 07) 57:39.4
3 Paul Bird/Ian Windress (Ford Focus WRC 07) 57:58.2
4 Daniel Barry/Martin Brady (Mitsubishi Evo 9) 59:09.9
5 Simon Hughes/Craig Parry (Mitsubishi Evo 9) 59:56.4
6 Willie Bonniwell/Neil Ewing (Subaru Impreza) 1:00:16.0
7 Alan Cookson/Julian Wilkinson (Subaru Impreza WRC) 1:02:16.2
8 Owen Murphy/Dai Roberts (Mitsubishi Lancer Evo 9) 1:03:22.4
9 Alan Carmichael/Ivor Lamont (Mitsubishi Evo 9) 1:05:08.4
10 Nik Elsmore/Craig Drew (Mitsubishi Evo 9) 1:05:53.0
Provisional Championship Positions (after round 2)
1 Daniel Barry 41
2 Simon Hughes 38
3 Alan Cookson 33
4 Nik Elsmore 32
5 Owen Murphy 31
6 Alan Carmichael 29
7 Marcus Dodd 26
8 Sean Devine 25
9 Steve Perez 23
10 Paul Bird 21
Meanwhile, Plymouth Motor Club will be holding an introduction to motor sport event at the Lyneham Pub on Friday 3 April starting at 7.30pm. Anyone is welcome to come along and learn more about the sport.
Picture courtesy of Ian Hardy, www.ianhardy.net.