Saturday, 29 May 2010

Moore overcomes driveshaft problem to claim Challenge finish

East Boldon rally driver Simon Moore overcame driveshaft failure with his Renault Clio Cup on Jim Clark Challenge Rally to claim 15th overall and ninth in class.

Moore and co-driver Emma Morrison made a great start to their event taking third place on the opening stage which took place around the spectator-packed streets of Duns in Scotland.

Disaster was to strike on the second stage though, the Clio suffered a broken driveshaft four miles into the 15 mile stage. With the rally taking place over two days and the cars being allowed to be fixed overnight a determined Moore and his service crew did not give up hope of being out on day two and several hours of hard work saw the car finally fixed at 2am.

"I was completely gutted when the driveshaft went," said Moore. "The first stage of the rally went brilliantly and I was delighted to be in third, especially as we still don’t have the correct suspension for the car."

"Stage two started well too and we were pushing hard to keep at the top end of the leaderboard but part way through the stage the shaft broke and our hopes of a good result were over."

"We limped 11 miles through the stage losing nearly seven minutes to the leaders and got the car back to the overnight halt location. Although we were all very disappointed we decided to try and fix the car and take a 10 minute penalty rather than pack up and go home and we eventually got it sorted at 2am – huge thanks to everyone who helped!"

With the Clio back in good health and nothing to lose Moore decided to go for it on the four stages of day two. Such was his pace that he caught the car in front on the first stage of the day. Despite this he claimed third fastest time.

The second stage of the day was cancelled due to an accident but Moore maintained his pace on the third stage, Eccles, once again claiming third fastest time even though he bent a front strut. The rally ended with the 12 miles of Swinton, a tricky stage with some very high speed jumps. Moore didn’t back off and despite having to reverse on a hairpin and also clipping a large hay bale he stopped the clocks just 1.1 seconds behind rally winner Richard Archer to take second fastest on the stage.

Despite his excellent showing on day two the 17 minutes lost on day one was too much to overcome and Moore was unable to make a challenge to the leading crews.

"Day two was brilliant, I thoroughly enjoyed it and the car was going really well. It makes the day one problems all the more frustrating though as without them I think we would’ve been able to get a top three finish which would have kept us in touch in the BRC Challenge championship."

With their BRC Challenge championship hopes now all but over Moore is going to concentrate on developing the Clio for more speed and he will upgrade some components to match his rivals. He will miss the next BRC Challenge round, the Rally Isle of Man in July, as his wife is due to give birth.

Image courtesy Jakob Ebrey Photography