Bentham’s David Wright was denied the chance of winning the Malcolm Wilson rally last weekend when a broken gear linkage forced him out of the event in Grizedale forest.
The rally kicked off with the Comb stage in Whinlatter forest and Wright was immediately on the pace, setting second fastest time just four seconds behind the Ford Focus WRC of Hugh Hunter.
The Hobcarton stage was next up and Wright continued to push hard in his Kumho Tyres, Drenth, York Brewery, Proflex and Grove Hill Garage-supported Mitsubishi Evo 9, powering through the stage in second place again.
Wright maintained his second place after the third stage, Greystoke, and he headed to the first of two tests in Grizedale just nine seconds off the lead.
“The first three stages went really well, we were flat out all the way,” said Wright. “It was very pleasing to be just nine seconds off the lead with the Grizedale stages to come.”
Wright usually goes very well in Grizedale and in the first of the two stages he was an impressive six seconds faster than the rally leader, reducing the deficit to just three seconds. The scene was set for an attack for the lead in the second longer Grizedale test but, sadly for Wright, his victory hopes were ended when the gear linkage broke leaving him stuck in fifth gear and unable to complete the stage.
“I really thought we could get the lead in the second Grizedale test. We had already made up six seconds in the shorter stage so I was confident we could leave the second stage in the lead. Unfortunately it was not to be. It’s very disappointing as I think the victory could’ve been ours but it seems like we’re not having any luck at all so far this year. I was happy that we again showed we are the fastest in our class as well as beating most of the drivers in the class above.’
Wright’s next event is scheduled to be the Somerset Stage in April.
Image courtesy of Songasport