Rally driver David Wright enjoyed a successful Dukeries rally last weekend (13th June) when he took fourth place overall and a class win to move into the lead of the BTRDA rally championship.
Wright, from Bentham, was partnered by Michael Wilkinson in a GPM Mitsubishi Lancer Evo 9 and their event got off to a good start with sixth fastest time on the short Thieves Wood stage near Mansfield.
Three more stages took place before the main service halt of the rally, including two in Sherwood Forest. Wright was consistently on the pace and after a couple of the leading crews retired from the event he was up to second at service.
“The early stages went well, we had no problems,” said Wright. “The long straights didn’t really suit the car as it’s not as powerful as the World Rally cars of our rivals but I was pleased to find that, despite this, I was in second place.”
Wright maintained his position with a fastest time on the stage following service but dropped to third after the Blidworth stage as the Focus WRC of eventual event winner Steve Perez passed him.
Two more stages in Sherwood forest followed and Wright lost a few seconds with a couple of overshoots as he pushed the car to the limit to try and maintain his position. A final stage charge saw him make up some time but it was not enough to return to third place.
“We were on the edge and sometimes over it in the last few stages, I was trying hard to finish as high as possible.“
“We couldn’t quite make it to third place but I’m happy with fourth, I’ve achieved my aim of taking the championship lead. Hopefully we can keep on the pace for the remaining rounds. I’d like to thank Grove Hill Garage and Kumho Tyres for their support and Giles Philips at GPM for preparing the car which ran faultlessly once again.”
The result means that Wright takes the lead of the BTRDA rally championship by a slender margin of two points from Nigel Griffiths with the next championship round, the Quinton Stages, taking place in early July.