Bentham rally driver David Wright put in a fine performance on last weekend’s Somerset Stages rally taking third place overall and first in class.
Wright and co-driver Michael Wilkinson contested the Minehead-based event in their GPM Mitsubishi Evo 9 with support from Proflex, Drenth, Kumho Tyres and Grove Hill Garage. The rally, round three of the BTRDA championship, started with four stages in the forests around Minehead. Sixth place on the opening Timberscombe stage was followed up with two fourths and a second which saw the Evo crew arrive at the first service halt of the event in fourth place overall.
“The first stages went ok but we chose the wrong tyres for the conditions,” said Wright.
“This meant we were missing the braking points and not being tidy in the corners so it cost us a few seconds. Fourth was a decent position though.”
In a change from the usual gravel forestry tracks the next two stages were held on tarmac, the toll road up Porlock Hill being closed for the day so that it could be used for the rally. A good run up the hill saw Wright and Wilkinson move up to third place overall and first in class.
The rally returned to gravel for the remaining five stages of the event. Wright put in a consistent performance, taking four third fastest times and one second fastest to remain in third place overall as the crews headed back to Minehead for the rally finish.
“I enjoyed the Porlock stages, it was good fun to have a blast up the hill and we got two decent times. Our times on the remaining forest stages were better too, we changed the tyres to a different cut from the morning and they made a big improvement.”
“Third is the best result we could’ve hoped for, the two cars in front of us have much more power and it’s tough to get close to them unless they have a problem.”
Wright now stands in fifth place in the BTRDA championship with the next round taking place at the Plains rally in May.