The ALMC Stages 2017

By Phil Jobson

This is the aftermath of our ‘off’ on SS3 of the ALMC Stages Rally starting from Trim in Co. Meath, Ireland. Three loops of three very fast bumpy stages posed a tough challenge for the disappointingly low number of only 7 crews contesting this BHRC round over the Irish Sea.

Only 20 seconds separated all 7 BHRC crews after the first stage. The second stage went well for us too, despite being on well used Pirelli tyres and the driver coping with a swollen thumb sustained following food poisoning on Friday night.

Two miles into the third stage was our undoing. I changed a note a couple of corners before and Arwel was perhaps a fraction delayed calling the 3Left, but primarily the front tyres had gone off and Snowy locked up the front tyres leaving us passengers. Fortunately there was a gateway open just to the front left of us, towards which we were heading. We clipped the grass bank gateway on the way through, bending a steering arm and slightly bending the TCA. We spun it round in the field and struggled back onto the road to stop down the stage to try to pull the wheels parallel from their position at about 45degrees to each other. But this was to no avail and we had to crab our way out the remaining 10 miles dropping about 15 minutes to our rivals and leaving us plumb last. We made it back to service on the rims.

We were going for a finish now to claim some Championship points for our long expensive trip. Backing off over the remainder proved worthwhile and still enjoyable, as the two Championship leaders failed to finish. We finished second Category 2 and 5th overall, now leading BHRC Category 2 and lying around 6th overall in the BHRC with four rounds to go.

Next up Epynt, I place I know fairly well now ….. followed by Isle of Man