It was a return to Rushmoor which last year didn’t end well with an early retirement due to a snapped driveshaft.
As we are doing a stage rally at the same venue in December it made sense this time to use the Micra. The micra has roughly the same power to weight ratio as the ZR, and although it is smaller the handbrake really does lack any real bite so handbrake turns aren’t really possible. As ever in life it is swings and round-abouts…
This event doesn’t allow List 1B tyres (and we didn’t have any!), the venue allows for some short and sharp challenging tests.
The day went smoothly and we found our way round all of the tests without too many issues. There were a few moments, like catching a kerb, a few slides and lock ups, but generally quite smooth and efficient. Throughout the day we were always in the top 3 or two positions. At lunch we held the overall lead by two second, after the next set of tests Ben Griffin had made back four seconds. This meant we had to find at least two seconds to tie for the win going into the final two tests.
The final two test were run in the dark and on the start line I found main beam wasn’t working, so I had to do these tests on dip beam. Luckily the micra headlights are good, so this wasn’t too much of an issue. The last two tests we pushed on as hard as I could and we had a few moments including a large tank slapper in the bushes but we got away with it. Over these two tests we made back seven seconds, which over less than two miles is very pleasing, in the end we won by 25 seconds as Ben missed a code board which carries a 20sec penalty.
It was very pleasing to finally win a Targa Rally and many thanks must go to Suze my nav for keeping me calm and going the correct way.
A collection of Andy Manston’s photo’s made into a GIF