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Tuesday, 4 April 2017

The Motordrive seats Lee Holland Memorial at Anglesey Circuit on the 19th March, was the next round on the MSN championship.   The circuit has to be the most picturesque venue we visit, with views over the Irish Sea and beyond.

Cathy and I generally have a good run here, so we were hoping again we wouldn't be disappointed.

On the Friday before the event there was a rally track day a day’s event where you can do a bit of a shake down and test the car.   The tyres Cathy went out on during the day were just not working and she was spending more time going sideways than forwards, the life of the tyres had expired.

EXCELLENT! New tyres for the rally.

Sunday morning was overcast, drizzly and windy on go the new wets.
We sat at the start with our normal first stage nerves eyeing up the competition.
The great thing about rallying is that you compete against various makes of cars, today we had MK2 Golf’s, MK2 Fiesta’s, Nova’s, Saxo’s, Peugeot 205’s all front wheel drive, there was Paul Shead in his Mazda MX5 which is rear wheel drive, a very popular weapon of choice are the MK1 and MK2 ford escorts which are also rear wheel drive like ourselves.  One driver that Cathy likes to compare stage times against is Jade, another very quick female driver, who was out playing in a 4 wheel drive Mitsubishi Evo and it was nice to see her out again after a year out of the car.

It was a good first stage but not right, we both felt we could go quicker the tyres were not giving the performance we had hoped, maybe because they were new and needed scrubbing in, either way up to 26th mixing it the escorts but had also gone 9 seconds slower than Jade but only 4 seconds behind Paul in his MX5.

SS2 was better but still felt we couldn't push on, the decision was made to come off the wets and go to softs.

SS3 was better again but it was one of those days were we just couldn't put our finger on the problem, but must be doing something right as we were now only 4 seconds behind Jade in the Evo and still 4 seconds behind Paul who was going to by our target for the day.

SS4 was much the same, but again felt we needed to change tyres to a harder compound for the next stage, but unfortunately for Paul on that stage he had mechanical issues and that was the end of his rally.
Queuing up for SS5 after a long break whilst the juniors did there runs the sun was starting to break through the clouds, good choice of tyres we thought. We then waited and waited, there was a delay getting the stranded cars off from the previous stage and the set up crew changing the layout for the next 2 stages.
Glad we had put the medium compound tyres on “I said” It was at that point the welsh gods must of heard me and sent in the next band of rain. Great, wrong tyres again.  With the strong winds it will soon blow over, well the wind needed to be stronger than it was, so the decision was made to do a late tyre change back onto the wets we had on for stage 1.  Unfortunately by the time the light went green it had stopped raining and again we were fighting for grip, but still better than staying on the mediums. We had lost time now running around 20th which to be fair we were really happy with but looking at the time we didn’t think we could hold onto that with some fast cars coming up behind us after they had problems on previous stages like Peter Jackson in his MK2 Escort, he had gone 51 seconds quicker than us and we were now around 10 seconds behind Jade.

By the time we got to SS7 and SS8 the rain was torrential, on go the Michelin wets, after all we had tried all the other tyres we had so didn’t want to leave these out.  The stages were good and we felt a lot quicker, the car felt like it was cornering on rails.  Finally we were on the correct tyres for the conditions and the times were proving it, 11 seconds quicker than Jade but 22 seconds slower than Peter.  On the last stage Cathy moved us up from the high teens to finish the day 14th Overall, holding on to our position just ahead of Peter by 5 seconds and 18 seconds ahead of Jade.  We had a fun rally and enjoyed getting some air time over the Anglesey Yump.

Next stop Cadwell for the last round 

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