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AaronMcClure Plains15Second place the N4 production class feels like victory for McClure in Plains Rally final stage drama.

REIS-Ravenol BTRDA Rally Series contender Aaron McClure secured his second runner up result in as many events, bagging a confidence boosting second place in the BTRDA N4 and Hyundai Genpower Production Cup on Saturday (16th May) at the Plains Rally.  The 20 year old 2300 Club John Easson Award winner was competing in only his third event in his newly acquired his Allfloors Express – YOKOHAMA Mitsubishi E9 and returned to the Welshpool rally finish an impressive second in class and 15th overall from a start position of 33.

The Next Big Step graduate was fresh from a similar result on the Somerset Stages last month and along with co-driver Elliott Edmondson, the duo headed to across the border into Wales with hopes of at least a podium position at the fourth round of the BTRDA series. With the early season teething problems ironed out at a pre-event test, McClure was confident of an increase of pace in across the infamous stages used by the World Rally Championship finale’, Wales Rally GB.

McClure could perhaps be forgiven for a stuttering start to the event, but he recorded a time good enough for joint 5th in class on the event opener, which was also third fastest of the N4 contingent.  Setting back into a pace more associated with the Cumbrian, he set second fastest on the next stage of the day. This leapt him over 10 places on the leader board to 15th, a spot he would finish in some four stages later.

Rarely out of the top three for the remainder of the day, McClure battled on to enter the final stage just three seconds adrift of class leader Pat Naylor. “We have had a fantastic day so far and everything has just gelled” said McClure at the final service.  “The car feels fantastic now we have it working correctly and the Yokohama tyres are incredibly effective in these stages,  it’s an absolute dream to drive and I’m really loving being at the sharp end of the N4 category”.

The battle was on and McClure set about trying to overhaul the similar E9 of Naylor. But just before the finish of the stage McClure came across a stricken car and was halted by the assisting marshals. Their subsequent notional time meant McClure would finish the event second; however there was nothing but elation in the team ranks at the Welshpool finish.

“I have to say this is probably one of my best drives ever” he said.  “Everything was just perfect and to be on the pace with these guys after just three events is pretty mind blowing to be honest. We didn’t have many expectations for the first few rounds of the year and hoped we would be close to the top three so to be in the thick of it is amazing. Perhaps we could of grabbed victory in that final stage but truthfully that’s rallying and you have to take everything that’s thrown at you. Second is like winning for me”.

McClure will now switch his attentions to the next event in the series, The Carlisle Stages in June which takes place over the Kielder forest complex in the Scottish Borders.

McClure has the support of The Next Big Step, IPD Motorsport Services, Camp Road Garage, Carcraft Body Repairs, BE Hargan, Darce Tech Racing, Questmead, Revolution and MCR Motorsport Media in 2015.

For more information on Aaron and his rallying career, visit http://www.aaronmcclure.co.uk

Image courtesy of Chris Evans (chrisevans2107@btinternet.com)

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