Monday, 4 June 2012

Monaghan overcomes tyre problems to take class win

Kev Monaghan endured a difficult Jim Clark National event last weekend but was rewarded with a class win in the MSA Asphalt Rally Championship.

The rally started on Friday evening with two short stages around Duns town centre. As he braked for the first corner Monaghan realised that he had chosen the wrong tyres for his Pirtek-backed Vauxhall Corsa Kit Car. With no opportunity to change the tyres between the stages Monaghan drove cautiously to make sure the car was in one piece for the full day of competition that was to follow on Saturday.

Day two started with the longest stage of the rally, the 16 mile Abbey St Bathans and, despite having changed to new medium compound tyres on the front wheels the car was still moving around a lot. With three stages to go before service Monaghan could do nothing about the tyres so drove with the need to get a good haul of championship points foremost in his mind.

Once he reached service some changes were made to the suspension settings and a soft compound tyre was fitted to the front wheels.

Another loop of four stages concluded the event. The car was now handling well and Monaghan was looking forward to enjoying the rest of the rally. Sadly his problematic event continued though as the display on the paddleshift gearbox stopped working meaning that he had to revert to conventional gear-changing for the last three stages.

Despite the problems Monaghan reached the finish of the event with a MSA Asphalt Championship class win as well as 25th overall.

“ I’m delighted with the result after the troubles we had,” said Monaghan. “I was determined to get to the finish so to get a championship class win is a good bonus.”

“I really didn’t think it was our day when the paddleshift display broke pretty much as soon as we’d got the car’s handling sorted but the result makes up for the problems. If anyone has some tyres they want me to try please get in touch!”

“Thanks to Pirtek Tyne and Wear, F and R Belbin, GB Lubricants and Playskool Motorsport for their support, Steve Dargan for a good job on the pacenotes and Neil Thompson and Garry Salmon for servicing.”

Monaghan is hoping to contest the ALMC Stages in Dublin next month if the budget can be found to contest the event.

Image courtesy Colin Smith