Part 2: Rally of The Tests 2014 Buxton – Llandrindrod

Buxton – Llandrindrod

When you are on a rally like this the last thing you want to do is give away sill and early time penalties. After a great first few hours’ things started going downhill fast for us.

Thanks to Tony Large for the photographs to see our gallery CLICK HERE 

On Reg 2 everything had been going well Ryan and I deciding that we would run slightly up as the narrow walled roads had a lack of passing spaces, so as we rounded the corner on our way to the last control there was a white van and another competitor – The van then reversed for what seemed like an age knowing that we were dropping time as soon as we thanked him we had to get onto it unfortunately the competitor in front who had lost road time as they had a wheel fall off decided to continue bumbling along and despite our attempts to wave him on he didn’t – we finally got by after 4 attempts only to go approx a quarter of a mile before hitting the control and a whole minute was lost!

After the tea halt we rounded the corner on our way to Marching Orders a test on very slushy, mulch covered ground but we got a little carried away in front of esteemed TV presenter and ex-works navigator Tony Mason as we took to the grass and having a half spin – which meant we lost 3 seconds and our first Test class second of the event. This test also saw one of our main rivals Paul Wignall and Mark Appleton parked up with gearbox troubles unfortunately for them a simple roadside repair was not possible.

But much worse was to come on regularity 1/5 Mynd not with the tricky slots but a missed control, somehow on the simplest form of spot heights on a marked map I had drawn a different route. I could sense the frustration from Ryan – who covered it up well – but it’s not the kind of thing that should happen and what makes it even more galling as we found the tricky slot into farmyard didn’t drop too much.


The good thing with rallying is that it’s not all over but this was the first time we had gone ‘shopping’ and thrown away the lead of the rally – gutted was an understatement!


We had to claw some of this time back and decided the first TC night section in Sarnau forest would be the ideal place to try and do it, and we did clawing back some time at last things seemed to be going our way at last and great to see so many people out on the road cheering and urging us on.


When we got back to the Metropole Hotel we also realised we had another problem – a leaking radiator. Disappointing but it looked like the forest roads had caused a leak in the top hose area. Further investigation found that the tube going into the radiator hadn’t been soldered all the way through and therefore the pressure was proving too much but hopefully – fingers-crossed – the on event mechanics had done a temporary fix, but we didn’t know how long it would last!

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