Woodbridge Stages 2015

After last weekend’s sprint I went into the Woodbridge Stages feeling confident in both the car and my driving.

We were seeded at Car 35 and third in class, which given the strength in quality and numbers in our class I thought we would do well to match by the end of the day.

The day started off dry, but the well forecast rain came in just before leaving for the first stage. The Yoko A048R’s worked surprisingly well on the front in the now heavy rain. However the Yoko A038’s (a more cut version of the 048’s) were rubbish! This led to most corners being a drift-fest, good fun but not fast and not good for the confidence. It also led to a high speed spin, however some dropped oil was probably the main cause of this….

(c) M&H Photography

For the next stage (and the rest of the event) we continued with the Yoko A048’s on the front and some free-be wet’s I have been given on the rear. Though these were very well worn, these worked well in the wet conditions.

The next few stages were a little less eventful, although one moment of aqua-planning at high speed at the end of a long straight caused a bit of scare with cars off all over the place trying to slow down.

The weather throughout the day changed from very heavy wind and rain to quite dry (but still windy), which meant the airfield surface was always different even from lap to lap on the same stage.

By lunchtime we were 5th in class and just outside the top 20, so a good overall position if not amazing in class. Given our class included both Turner brothers in quick cars and bot of whom can pedal very well and the other cars around us were much more powerful single venue rally specials. Our road rally spec car, was doing well – in fact beating many more powerful cars outside of Class A. By now we were working our way up through the field and now chasing down a 2.5 ltr BMW compact I was slowly catching him up through the corners which was encouraging but also led to a spin as i tried to push a bit too hard! Though by the end of the day we beat him by nearly a minute 🙂

The first stage after lunch I was rather ragged, no major moments but certainly not a ‘tidy’ stage either…. It was then on to the final stage of the day, we were in the top 20 overall and now 4th in class, and only 8 seconds of 3rd in class… So the target was set! The last stage went very well with us setting 16th overall fastest stage time beating Owen Turner, Tony Michael in his 1600 Civic, a 2Ltr Escort MkII and even a 4WD Delta!

In the end we were tied on time for 3rd in class and 17th overall, with the Corsa taking the honors due his second stage time being quicker on the count back…. Just one second, looking back through the on-board videos I can see many moments where I could have made up this and much more but that’s rallying!.

A big thanks has to go out to all the organisers and marshals for their cold & wet work for us to have a play.

The final thanks is to Lizzie Pope for keeping me calm throughout the event, and telling me where to go.

Here is the final stage of the day – probably my best stage of the day, if you want to see a more ragged me then view my YouTube Channel and watch stage 4….

Currently we don’t have our next event planned. I hope to wash, check over the car over the Easter weekend. The only worked needed that I know of so far is a new set of brake pads, change the oil / filter and a general check over the car. Once again this has cost about £20 in tyres, £16 for a set of pads and some fuel (and a few doughnuts and burgers… 😉 ), I got to drive the rally car there and back in once piece – true clubman rallying.

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