East Boldon based rally co-driver Janice Moore made her second British Rally Championship appearance of the year last weekend when she contested the Jim Clark International rally with Richard Sykes in his Suzuki Swift Sport Cup car.
Although both Sykes and Moore had competed on the Jim Clark rally previously they had never contested an event together before and their rally got off to a testing start when it became apparent after a few seconds into the opening Bothwell stage that calling the pacenotes was going to be difficult due to problems with the helmet intercom system and Moore struggling to see out of the car with the seat being set for Sykes’s usual co-driver.
The pairing battled on to the service halt where, after trying to find another helmet or intercom link for Moore, the crew swapped helmets which meant that Sykes could now hear Moore but not the other way round. The service crew also raised the seat so that Moore could see over the dashboard. Despite their problems Sykes and Moore ended the first day of the event second in class.
The next day kicked off with the Edrom stage and Sykes and Moore were quick out of the blocks, setting fastest time of the Rally 1 class crews. A collision with a bird on the next stage saw them lose a few seconds while sliding wide on a hairpin in the Eccles stage, almost hitting a photographer, cost more time, dropping them to third place in the class.
They were soon back up to second though, with fastest time in the second run of the Edrom stage, a position they consolidated with second fastest time in the following Blackadder stage. Disaster was to strike in the next stage though when the car rolled on a corner.
"It was a fast right hand corner in the Fogo stage that tightened part way round. The car went off the road and rolled," said Janice.
"Fortunately, with the help of the spectators and marshals, we got going again but the brakes had stopped working so we had to limp to the end of the stage. We lost over three minutes to our class rivals."
A huge effort by everyone in service, including members of rival teams, saw the car repaired in time to contest the final loop of stages and Sykes and Moore had a successful end to the event, setting fastest times on the last two stages to come home third in class.
The result moves Sykes up to fourth in the Suzuki Swift Sport Cup championship and fifth in the Rally 1 championship.
Please visit www.janicemoorerallying.com to keep up to date with Janice's rallying.