Monday, 26 September 2011

Broken driveshaft denies Fiesta victory for Cristofaro

Milford Haven rally drive Nick Cristofaro had a disappointing end to his British Rally Championship season when a broken driveshaft led to his retirement from the Trackrod Rally Yorkshire while leading the Fiesta SportTrophy class.

Having successfully tested his Genpower UK, Ginsters, Cristotec, Autoglym, Millers Oils, Nicky Grist and Elite Remapping-supported Ford Fiesta ST in Hamsterley before the event Cristofaro had high hopes of ending his season in style with a Fiesta win on the Scarborough-based event.

The rally kicked off with a 14 mile stage in Dalby forest, a forest where there are several long straights which suit the more powerful Fiesta R2 cars rather than Cristofaro’s older ST model. Despite this he managed to finish the stage in third place in the Fiesta class.

“We had a good test session and the pre-rally recce went well, it gave me the opportunity to get used to having Janice Moore as my co-driver again,” said Cristofaro. “I knew I’d have to push really hard in Dalby to try and keep up with the newer Fiestas and I was pleased not to drop much time to them.”

The next four stages, two runs of Gale Rigg and one of Cropton and Staindale were shorter and more technical. Cristofaro overcame his relative lack of power to storm to three fastest Fiesta times and one second fastest, a performance which saw him head the Fiesta SportTrophy leaderboard.

Sadly the chance of a Fiesta win for Cristofaro vanished when a loud bang at the start of the next Langdale stage signalled a broken driveshaft which forced him out of the event.

“Gale Rigg, Cropton and Staindale went really well, I was delighted with three fastest time although it could’ve been four but for a slight collision with a bank. Langdale was another long stage and I was confident that we could pull a good lead out over the other Fiesta crews but the snapped shaft put paid to that. It was really gutting as I think we were on for the win and that could’ve meant a possible nomination for the Pirelli Star Driver prize as well as taking the Fiesta championship but it was not to be.”

“I just hope that potential sponsors will see that I have the pace and commitment to compete at the top level of British rallying so that I am able to drive a TEG Sport Skoda Fabia in 2012. The Fiesta is now for sale and I’ll be working as hard as I can to get the funds together so I can continue in the British Rally Championship next year. Thank you to all the people who have supported me in 2011.”

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