Junior 1000 rally driver Nick Cristofaro from Milford Haven took third place on last weekend’s Spring Rally Stages event despite a persistent problem which meant his Nissan Micra’s top speed was severely restricted.
The two-day event was held at Sculthorpe airfield in Norfolk and it was round two of the Junior 1000 championship, a series of events for drivers aged 14-17.
Cristofaro and co-driver Emma Morrison’s event got off to a troubled start, the car would not go over 60mph in the high speed parts of the course where rival crews were hitting over 80.
“It was a frustrating start, we tried changing various parts such as the distributor and throttle bodies each time we came into service but it had no effect,” said Cristofaro.
“We pushed as hard as we could in the twisty parts of the stage but we lost a lot of time on the straights.”
Despite the problem Cristofaro and Morrison held third place after four stages at the end of the opening day.
The car troubles continued into day two and the lack of top speed saw the Micra crew drop to fourth after the sixth stage. Continued efforts were made in service to identify the problem and just before the final stage a fault in the electrical system was found and fixed.
Cristofaro and Moore started the last stage of the rally 12 seconds behind the third placed crew but with the car now in good health the stops were pulled out and the crew clawed back the deficit and made it to the podium.
“Although third is a decent result it is disappointing that we had the car troubles. Our time on the last stage was over 40 seconds faster than we’d been with the problem so I think we could’ve been challenging for victory had we had a clear run.”
“Hopefully now that the car is running well we will be able to fight for the win at the next event. Thanks to all those who helped us in service trying to sort out the problem.”
The next round of the Junior 1000 championship takes place at the end of April with Anglesey race circuit the venue for the Lee Holland Memorial Rally.