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Border Counties Rally - Saturday 23rd March 2002

Border Counties 02The lead up to this event was much smoother than the last one. With no damage to the car after the the Snowman it was just a case of checking the car over before heading to the Borders.

The rally consisted of seven stages in Kielder forest. Stages 1 and 2 shared the same start position, with stage 1 turning left after 2 and a half miles and stage 2 going straight on. Stage 1 went quite well setting second fastest time in class. Stage 2 was a bit more troublesome. Because the start was being used for stages 1 and 2, the cars were set off at 30 second intervals. After about a mile and a half we caught a green Astra which was going much slower than us. They refused to pull in and that left us sitting behind them for about a mile losing lots of time. After they turned left at the split junction we were able to get going and ended up with a respectable equal second fastest in class.

Stage 3 was next and it was a very fast stage with lots of long straights and big crests. The car went very well in here and we ended the stage second in class and first of the 1300 runners by around 15 seconds. Stage 4 was next and this is where it all went wrong. We had a small spin on a 90 left not too far from the end. This maybe cost us about ten seconds, so it wasn't too bad. Right at the end of the stage about fifty yards from the flying finish we slid sideways and stopped across the road. It was a fairly innocuous spin and the car was mostly on the road with the front wheels just off the edge. Unfortunately when we selected reverse the front wheels just sunk into the the soft mud and the car was stuck fast. There were some spectators near us and they tried pushing us but it wasn't making much impression. Some more spectators arrived from further up the stage and we were eventually able to push the car round and get it going again. We had lost around four and a half minutes and that was the end of our chances of winning anything.

Stages 5 and 6 were a rerun of 3 and 4 so we knew what the stages looked like. We had another small off in stage 5 which left us beached on the inside of a tight left hand corner. Fortunately there were lots of marshals and spectators on the corner and they were able to push the car back onto the road. It took about 40 seconds to get us going again. Stage 6 was uneventful by comaprison and we had a nice smooth run through the stage.

The last stage was stage 7 and being so close to the end with nothing much at stake we had a nice smooth run to finish the event.

It was quite a disappointing event dropping 4 minutes while leading the 1300 championship runners but at least it was another finish ending up 6th in class and 51st overall.


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