MGJ Brands Hatch Winter Stages

Well after many years of trying, we have finally won our class on a stage rally in the Micra. The 1400cc class is always well populated and often has many high powered machines, so getting a chance at the top spot is often slim. However Brands Hatch stages this year proved to give us that chance…

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The day started off very cold (-5’c), but the little Micra started on the button early on Saturday morning. The first stage went smoothly enough, although parts of the rally school were a complete ice rink!

The second stage though proved to throw up some drama with an errant SOS board being left out on a competing car, we had no choice but to stop at the next marshal point and report the issue. This caused some ‘slight’ increase in tensions in the car, but in the end we were awarded a notional time by the organisers, which allowed us to maintain our position. The following stage also saw us having to return to the organisers for a time allowance, due to a blocked stage which had affected about eight cars.

During all the above fun and games, the top contenders in our class were having their own issues. This left us at lunchtime with a healthy class lead. Our nearest rivals where the Newtons in their very powerful, and super light weight Nova. They were on a mission to make up for their lost time after a ‘moment’ eariler in the day.

By the end of stage 6, it was clear we had a real battle on our hands. We had about a 1m 30sec lead over the Newtons, but they were making up just under 30 seconds on us a stage. So the maths would mean that by the end of stage 8 it would all be VERY tight.

This meant it was game on! The last three stages, were a real battle, no quarter was given by either crew, and on the final stage we set a stage time quicker than many much ‘faster’ cars like C2R2 Max’s, Evo’s etc… all in our little road rally spec Micra. In the end we took the class win by 6 seconds. The Micra does now sport some tyre rubbing ‘battle wounds’ but we both really enjoyed being pushed to the maximum limit to find out what we really could do in the car.

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