Sunday, 29 May 2011

Becky passes tarmac test on Jim Clark Challenge Rally

Rally driver Becky Kirvan, from Burton Pidsea, successfully finished the Jim Clark Challenge Rally last weekend, taking fifth in class on her first major tarmac event.

The event, round three of the BRC Challenge championship, started on Friday evening with a short stage through the spectator-lined streets of Duns which Becky and co-driver Kaz Watts enjoyed. A much longer test in Bothwell followed which allowed Becky to get into a good rhythm with the car as she built up her experience of its capabilities on tar.

The final stage of Friday was at Abbey St Bathans and it nearly spelled the end of Becky’s event. Part way through the course the KC, Bardahl Oils, Princes Quay Shopping Centre, Peart Auto Services, Rally4Real and Songasport-backed Ford Fiesta ST suffered a puncture and with six miles still to go the crew made the decision to stop and change the wheel. Unfortunately a problem with the jack meant that it was impossible to lift the car so the wheel could not be changed. The rest of the stage had to be completed very slowly to avoid damaging the car’s suspension and bodywork.

"The stage at Duns was great, it was brilliant to see so many spectators there cheering us on, there was a great atmosphere," said Becky. "Stage two went well also although we lost some time when we caught a car."

"The Abbey stage was going fine till we got the puncture. We lost time getting the jack out to try and fix it and then more time was lost having to hobble through the stage."

"We were lucky that a fellow competitor lent us a jack at the end of the stage so we could put a new wheel on. Although we were very close to being over our time limit we managed to get back to the overnight halt."

Day two saw a further five stages in the lanes around Duns. With the puncture on Friday Becky knew it was going to impossible to claw back enough time to get a better class position so she concentrated on getting to grips with the tarmac and pushed on with the intention of setting some good stage times. This resulted in her catching slower cars on most of the days stages, but other than that she had a troublefree day and fetched the KC Rally Team car home fifth in class.

"I enjoyed the stages on the second day which had some really fast sections and big jumps. We seemed to get lucky with the weather, some crews were caught out by sudden heavy rain showers but we had relatively dry stages."

"I’m pleased with my performance, there were definitely places where I could have gone quicker and probably braked later but for my first big tarmac event I think it went well. It was certainly very valuable experience for me as the next two championship rounds are also on tarmac."

The BRC Challenge will resume in August with the Ulster Challenge Rally. For further information in the KC Rally Team please visit