Trackrod Rally of Yorkshire - Day 1

Although there was only one stage Friday night, what a stage it was: 15.5-miles through Dalby Forest - in the dark! Not only that, all competitors reported it was slippery! very slippery! And, at the service halt before the overnight halt, everyone had a story to tell of their first-stage ordeal.

Even though they reported a temporary visit to a ditch four-miles into the stage, Tom Cave and co-driver Craig Parry emerged unscathed and with a lead of just 0.1-second ahead of their Davies Motorsport Services and CitroŽn DS3 team-mates Osian Pryce/Iestyn Williams. They also reported a few heart-stopping moments, only this time it was because their car's brake pedal was intermittently going to the floor.

Whilst the two pairs of Welshmen are capable of claiming the BRC title this weekend, the men most likely to achieve the task are championship leaders Keith Cronin and Marshall Clarke, who also had a torrid time in SS1. After traversing the water-splash near the start of the stage, their CitroŽn's windscreen misted up and, from then on, Cronin admitted he lost his rhythm and was not happy with the way he drove the rest of the stage. However, they still lie third, albeit 14-seconds behind the leaders and are reasonably happy, as they only have to finish eighth or higher to secure the crown.

The fourth crew to be able to claim the title are Jonny Greer/Gordon Noble. But, when their CitroŽn's left-front wheel sheared all four wheel-studs when accelerating out of a slow corner one-mile before the end of the stage, they had to stop and then wait for their service crew to arrive. Thankfully, with no damage done, the will continue on Saturday under SuperRally rules - even thought their title chances are now extremely slim.

Even before the stage - in fact at the ceremonial start - the CitroŽn crew of Callum Black/Paul Wakely also had a problem, when their CitroŽn wouldn't start and they had to be pushed across the line. Fortunately, they managed to fix what transpired to be an electrical problem and were able to continue. They currently hold sixth place.

In contrast, Matthew Cathcart/James Morgan had a clean start to hold an impressive fourth place and the lead of the R2 category. Second of the R2s is the Finnish paring of Jukka Korhonen/Marko Salminen, who consider themselves lucky to not have lost more time when they were caught out in the slippery conditions, put their Skoda Fabia off the road and spent the next 20-seconds getting it pointing in the right direction.

For more information:- www.rallybrc.co.uk

29th September, 2012