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Eastoft rally driver Becky Kirvan-Rodgers made a successful return to competition on last weekend’s Trackrod Rally Yorkshire, finishing sixth in class on her first event for almost six years.

Other than a quick test session the week before Becky had not driven her APD Communications-supported Ford Fiesta ST since Wales Rally GB in 2011 and there was no chance to gently get used to driving on gravel again with the opening test being the long Langdale stage, the same place she rolled her car last time she competed on the event.

Fortunately there were no such dramas this time and Becky and co-driver Chris Ridge emerged unscathed although the car was having gearbox problems, jumping out of first and second gear which caused them to lose time. The problems continued in stage two, Staindale, before the crew headed to service.

“I was a bit nervous at the start,” said Becky. “Our pre-event test went well but actually competing is a different matter. I’d have preferred a nice easy short stage to start with but we were straight into Langdale. I enjoyed it though and managed to get into a good rhythm.”

“The gearbox problem was frustrating, there are a lot of first and second gear corners in Yorkshire forests so it was far from ideal. Our service crew did their best to fix the issue in service but it couldn’t be sorted without taking the box out of the car and we only had a 30 minute service halt, so we had no choice but to carry on and work around it.” After service the crews headed west for stages in Gale Rigg and Cropton forests before a final stage in Dalby.

“Gale Rigg and Cropton went well although the gearbox problem got worse which hampered our pace. Dalby had been used by the historic cars the night before and it was very muddy and slippery. We nearly went off on one corner but I kept my foot down and managed to get some grip which pulled us round.”

“It felt great to get to the finish, especially after my last outing on Trackrod rally ended with me upside down off the road. The stages were a huge challenge with the road surface changing very quickly from one straight to the next, but I really enjoyed the event and I’ve definitely got the bug back. Hopefully I’ll be able to do more events next year. Thanks to Chris and all of the Becky Kirvan Rallying team and thank you too to APD Communications, without whom I would not have been able to do the event.”

Please visit http://www.beckykirvan.co.uk or http://www.facebook.com/beckykirvanrallying to keep up to date with Becky’s rallying.

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