Since the Red Car’s completion last summer we have entered five rallies in it. Three of them with me as the driver and two with my dad as the driver. Of the five rallies entered only three were finished…the ones with me as driver. My dad is now starting to take this personally. The red car behaved impeccably on the JRT Enville stages, Hall Trophy Rally and Tour of Caerwent, but unfortunately we weren’t so lucky on the Cambrian and the Chris Kelly Memorial Rally (IOM).
On the Cambrian a gear box fault saw us out of the event on stage 5. The gearbox oil all drained out and 5th gear seized up. The teeth that broke off 5th gear caused damage to the others and the whole box seized up. Although we were annoyed not to finish we were finding the event very hard going due to extremely rough roads which were causing damage to the car.
The bigger disappointment came on the Chris Kelly in May on the Isle of Man. After several weeks of hard work prepping the car, days spent making pacenotes and all the effort to get to the event the cam belt snapped in service just 1 hour and 45 minutes before our start time. With the help of Heidi in rally HQ and another competitor (sorry, I can’t remember his name) we managed to find someone with a spare cam belt for a Peugeot 205. Adrian Drury and Cat Lund in car 102 were very kind to help us push the car all the way across the paddock to their service spot so it could be worked on under cover – the rain was torrential. Cat’s friend Mark came to lend a hand and did an amazing job in trying to help us achieve the impossible and start the event. Despite best efforts from my dad, Mark and Adrian’s service crew we didn’t make it out on the event – the engine was damaged when the belt snapped. We spent Friday night chatting to crews in the service area and wishing we were out rallying. On Saturday we went out spectating, which was fun, but not quite the same as competing.
We’re very grateful to the man from ERO who gave us the cam belt – we tried to find you in service on Friday night and on Saturday but kept missing you. Thanks also to Adrian and Cat, Mark and the other chaps who worked on the car and to Heidi for not letting us give up without trying to fix the car. My brother Michael and Peter, my uncle, tried their best to keep our spirits up and got thoroughly soaked helping us push the car around. I’m hopeful that it won’t be our last trip to the Isle of Man and that next time will be more successful.