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2008 Season

For 2008, I competed in the BTRDA Asphalt series and was driving the Honda Civic Type R again. Sadly, the second event in the series, the Tour of Cornwall, was cancelled but below are reports on the events I have done this year in my quest to win the series' Class.

BTRDA Asphalt Rally Series

Tour of Epynt
4th March 2008

"We had a problem with the Proflex suspension leaking oil onto the brake discs so we had to switch to standard struts on the front before the first the car wasn't handling as well as normal. It was a privilege to have such an experienced co-driver, Tony Fisher, ,reading the notes and I gradually got used to the numbered Pace Note system which was very new to me. I was very happy to finish in 39th position Overall and now lie 6th Overall in the Asphalt Series, 2nd in Class 3 and 4th in the 2 wheel drive Class"

Millbrook National Rally
26th May 2008

 “A dry, grey start to the morning. The first two stages stayed dry but by Stage 3, the rain started and the roads were getting greasy. Up until now, I've been lucky with the weather and this was only my second event in the rain.

Stage 3 was going well until we came round a slight left but the wet road saw me spinning onto the grass. Luckily, there were no barriers and we were able to continue, losing only a few seconds. Stage 4 and another off - a slight spin onto a grass bank but, again, lucky to get away without a scratch.

These two incidents knocked my confidence and I was then over cautious on corners when I didn't really need to be. Even though I had been round most of them a few times, the car would react in different ways and this showed in the stage times at the end of the day. I was quite disappointed with the result but I learnt a lot - Millbrook is not called a Testing Ground for no reason!

Abingdon Car-nival Stages
8th June 2008

“Although not a round of the BTRDA series, it was a good test to polish off a bit of the rust from the long lay-off. We travelled up to Abingdon airfield on the Saturday for scrutineering and signing-on followed by a very sociable barbeque with a comedian in the evening.

A bright Sunday morning to start the day off and although being slightly disappointed with the first stage, things got better as I got used to the venue. We finished 19th Overall and the whole team was pleased with an enjoyable and successful day.”

Rally of the Midlands
20th\21st June 2008

“This was probably the most enjoyable event I have done so far and also my first multi-venue one. My dad was yet again keen to sit in the co-driver's seat - until the Road Book was opened! But he handled it well and we got to (and through!) all the stages in good time.

The event started dry with six stages on Friday evening with two runs through Merevale stately home, two in Mallory Park and a couple of tricky spectator stages in Hinckly town centre which attracted very large crowds. No mistakes saw us lying 32nd overall at the end of the day.

An early and wet start to the Saturday stages leaving the roads very greasy.But with a quick tyre change we were ready and raring to go for the second day.There were showers all day and with one big spin, we had some catching up to do. The rest of the day went well and, with the roads drying out in the afternoon, our times started to look better.

Again, a successful day for the team - we finished 25th Overall, 7th in Class and took home the best mixed crew and ladies awards, too!

More importantly, more points scored in the BTRDA championship - now 1st
in Class C3, 2nd in the 2-wheel-drive class and 6th Overall.”

Mewla National Rally
24th August 2008

“Another very enjoyable event, the Epynt ranges proved to be as tough and exciting as usual. The weather was so unpredictable with short heavy showers all day making driving conditions very tricky. I had Tony Fisher in the co-driver's seat this time and I'm still getting used to the numbered pace note system.

We had a few problems with the car before the event, following a test with the car doing Course Car duties on the Harry Flatters Rally two weeks before the Mewla .With the car feeling unsteady on the road, D & C Rallying eventually found the the diff was the culprit, being too tightly set and causing the car to twitch badly over brows. We had to make a choice - miss the event or revert to a standard diff. Being such an important rally for us, we had little option but to use the standard item.

After the first stage, we also realised the engine was down on power and it was pinned down to the Vtec engine management system. We knew it was going to be a long and hard day to keep fighting up those hills. But we were determined and, impressed with the handling of the car, we had a good event.

We finished 42nd Overall and 11th in Class B11.”

Patriot Stages
28th September 2008

“For one weekend this year, the sun shone! And we could sit outside in deck chairs -
what more could you want? Ah, a good result on the rally, too!

I have not had a very good history on this event - the first time I went there, I did not finish. The brick walls got the better of me! But this year it was dry so less chance of sliding into those curbs and walls. This is an excellent event and it was little wonder that there was a full entry - a rarity these days. I really needed to get around in one piece here and a good finish was essential for the Series points.

The stages are very tight and twisty here with little room for error. With the car now running smoothly and a looser diff, it felt like a different car altogether and great fun to drive. I was no longer fighting the steering to keep the car on the road. And now, with the Vtec working properly and kicking in at the right time, we needed allthe power on our side for the long straights.

Tony Fisher was in the navigator's seat again and we didn't need the dreaded
numbered pace note system - just a LOT of 90 Rights!

Above all, we had a good event and came away with little damage. More to the point we finished 32nd Overall and 11th in Class. The much needed points were enough to win our class in the BTRDA championship and, with 4 out of 6 rounds counting, the team now do not have to make the long haul to Otterburn for the final round, much as I would have liked to! My ambition for 2008 to win the BTRDA Tarmac Series Class 3 title for 2008
has thus been achieved and we are very happy. In addition, I won the Wessex Ropes Junior Award. We also came 5th Overall and 2nd in the 2wd catagory.”

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