Sunday, 21 August 2011

Becky battles to double success on Ulster Challenge rally

East Yorkshire rally driver Becky Kirvan had reason to celebrate last weekend when she battled through some very tough stages to finish both Ulster Challenge rounds of the BRC Challenge championship, maintaining the KC Rally Team’s 100% finishing record in 2011.

Round four of the championship took place over the course of day one of the event with the Challenge crews tackling the Glendun and Torr Head stages first. Wind and heavy rain made the conditions difficult and, after much deliberation, it was only at the very last minute that a decision was made about which tyres to use. Becky and co-driver Kaz Watts overcame the conditions to arrive back in service in 11th place despite a couple of incidents.

"The opening two stages were very challenging," said Becky. "It was hard getting into a rhythm as there was not a lot of grip in some places. We had a big moment on the opening stage when we landed badly after a jump and the car slewed sideways, fortunately we stayed on the road and managed to take the square right corner that followed it!"

"We were lucky in stage two also when we only just managed to slow the car for a hairpin bend. I was pleased to get back to service unscathed, there were damaged cars throughout the stages."

The remaining three stages of round four took place in the dark. Despite her lack of experience of competing at night Becky successfully piloted her KC, Bardahl Oils, Princes Quay Shopping Centre, Rally4Real, Peart Auto Services and Songasport-backed Ford Fiesta ST to the finish in 9th place.

"I actually enjoyed the night stages, it is a real challenge to compete at night, it’s totally different to the day time stages as the landscape seems to change. It was great to get to the finish and score some championship points."

Round 5 consisted of four stages on day two of the event. Although conditions were much better than the previous day the stages still proved to be very testing. After three stages Becky was again lying in 9th place but she was only two seconds behind the car in front. Unfortunately the final stage was cancelled due to another competitor having an accident so she did not get the opportunity to push for 8th. Her result was still good enough to take the class award.

"The three stages we did went well, the only drama was an old man wandering across the stage in front of us, though fortunately we managed to miss him. The steering had a bit of play in it after two stages so the service crew did an extremely speedy steering arm change in service - big thanks to them for that."

"It was disappointing not to be able to push for 8th place on the last stage but the important thing is that the crew in the accident were ok. All in all I was delighted to get another good finish for the KC team."

The results means that Becky is now up to 7th in the BRC Challenge championship as well as lying second in her class championship. The next event for the KC Rally Team will be the Trackrod Challenge rally in September.

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