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AaronMcClurePR_011_15_NGSCumbrian rally ace Aaron McClure had all hopes of a podium result end in a final stage driveshaft failure on his Allfloors Express – YOKOHMA backed Mitsubishi E9 at the Nicky Grist Stages in Wales on Saturday (11th July). After battling back from a slow start during the morning to a creditable fourth in the Hyundai Genpower Production Cup during the latter stages of the event, the car lost rear traction on the start line of the last stage of the event, dropping McClure to seventh in class and with it all to do to capture the title this season.

An event ending roll on last month’s Carlisle Stages would mean McClure would head to the Builth Wales based event to re-capture his lost places in the REIS – Ravenol BTRDA Series N4 category.  The team worked tirelessly to rebuild the Mitsubishi for the event and The Next Big Step graduate would make a cautious start across the Epynt forest tracks. With the class contenders being so evenly matched, McClure found himself a few seconds shy of the leaders at the halfway point of the event, but that was enough to see him languishing down in fifth at the mid-day service.

The 20 year old 2300 Club John Easson Award winner from Flookburgh was accompanied as always by Elliott Edmondson and the duo would look to the afternoon loop to regain some lost time on the leaders.  By his own admission, the stages were not suited to McClure but nevertheless he battled on to go into the eighth and final stage just ten seconds shy of a podium.  But as the clock reached zero the rear driveshaft failed leaving McClure to limp through the stage, losing over two minutes in the process.

“It is really disappointing to be a long way off the title chase at this stage of the season, we really haven’t had much luck this year” said McClure. “I guess we made a slow start which didn’t really help but I needed to build my confidence gradually today. That showed in the stage times and we were ready to have a final stage push but there was a loud bang as I pulled away and I knew the podium chase was over. It felt like a lifetime through the final stage and back to the finish but luckily we made it ok. Seventh is not ideal but I’m not giving up yet. We don’t come here to drive for a finish so it just means we will have to go out and win the last three events instead”.

The next round of the series will be on September 5th in Ludlow for the Eventsigns Woodpecker Stages Rally.

McClure is supported by The Next Big Step, IPD Motorsport Services, Camp Road Garage, Carcraft Body Repairs, BE Hargan, Darce Tech Racing, Questmead, Revolution, AMS and MCR Motorsport Media in 2015.  For more information on Aaron and his rallying career, visit http://www.aaronmcclure.co.uk

Image courtesy of Gasmark Media.

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