Bentham rally driver David Wright overcame treacherous conditions on last Saturday’s Malcolm Wilson rally to take a brilliant fifth overall and first in class.
Snow and ice greeted the crews on the event’s opening two stages which took place either side of Whinlatter Pass near Keswick. Wright and co-driver Michael Wilkinson started the event on gravel tyres and they slid to 14th fastest time on the first stage. Further time was lost on stage two when their Giles Philips Motorsport Mitsubishi Evo 9 hit a patch of ice and collided with a log which span the car around. Despite the spin the crew claimed ninth fastest time and moved up to 12th overall and second in class.
“The first two stages were frustrating, the ice was quite severe in places and it was difficult to get any rhythm going,” said Wright.
“A fair few cars didn’t make it out of the stages though so we were pleased to head for the third stage in one piece.”
Stage three saw the crews head to Wythop forest. Conditions here were much improved and Wright stormed to second fastest time. Icy conditions returned for the following Greystoke stage but Wright maintained his leaderboard position with a good time, heading for the first service halt of the event in seventh overall.
After service the rally went south to Grizedale forest. Although the car suffered two front punctures Wright was well on the pace, taking fourth and third on the two Grizedale tests and moving up to fifth overall.
Another run of Greystoke completed the rally and, despite a few moments on the patchy ice, Wright successfully completed the stage and claimed fifth overall and first in class.
“I’m delighted with the result, the conditions made it one of the hardest rallies I’ve ever done so it’s really satisfying to get a good finish and a class win.”
“The rally was the second round of the BTRDA championship so it’s great to score a decent amount of points for that too, especially after we retired on round one.”
“We’re going to do some more development work with the car before the next championship round so hopefully we’ll be on the pace there too. I’d like to thank Kumho Tyres, Proflex, Drenth and Grove Hill Garage for their support.”
Wright will next be in action on the Somerset Stages in April, the third round of the BTRDA rally championship.