Rally driver Kev Monaghan had a miserable end to the Jim Clark National rally last weekend when the engine on his Vauxhall Corsa S1600 failed while he was challenging for a class win.
The Kelso-based event started on Friday evening with three stages and Monaghan’s plan was to push hard immediately in his Pirtek Tyne & Wear, Stauff, GB Lubricants, F & R Belbin and Bill Falconer-supported car. His plan worked as he led the event at the overnight halt although he was only 0.1 seconds ahead of the second-placed crew.
Saturday’s stages started off with damp roads but Monaghan was still on the pace, swapping fastest stage times with Carl & Rob Tuer in their MG ZR S1600. The class battle continued throughout the day and going into the long last stage Monaghan was 14 seconds off the lead. As the roads had dried out Monaghan fitted harder compound tyres with the intention of a flat out attack to try and get the win. Unfortunately a rain shower meant the new tyres were not as effective as they would’ve been in the dry but worse was to come when, with 8 miles of the stage remaining, the engine failed.
“I was delighted with our performance on Friday, to be leading was very satisfying,” said Monaghan. “We were having a great battle with the Tuers on Saturday and I hoped that switching to the harder tyres for the last 14 miles would give us a chance of taking the class win. The rain ended our hopes but we were still on for second place until the engine failed.”
“They say lightning doesn’t strike twice but we’ve had engine failures on consecutive events which is hugely disappointing. I’m happy that we’ve got the pace to compete at the sharp end and that we’re mixing times with works-built S1600 cars though. We’ve set up a great team around us, we just need that one final link in the chain to nail down our engine issues.”
“For now the budget is gone but I hope to be out later in the year and be ready to give it our all in 2014. Thank you to Pirtek Tyne& Wear, Stauff, GB Lubricants, F & R Belbin and Bill Falconer, without their support we would not have been in the position to challenge for class wins. I would like to say a big thank you to Chris Purvis who gives it 100% in the co-driver's seat which allows me to take it flat out most of the time.”
“Hopefully we can resolve the engine issues and have a real push for the class championship next year.”