Tim Rodgers contested his first rally for three years and his first ever tarmac event last weekend on the Jim Clark Challenge rally and a strong performance saw him take 7th overall and 5th in class.
Driving a Rally4Real.com Ford Fiesta ST Rodgers, from Burton upon Stather, and co-driver Stefan Arndt had a good start to the event on the first of Friday evening’s three stages, powering the car around Duns town centre in front of a huge crowd of spectators. The long 16 miles Abbey St Bathans test followed and for most of the stage Rodgers had to rely on his memory of the route from the recce as the intercom failed meaning he couldn’t hear the Arndt’s instructions. Despite this Rodgers managed to catch three cars in the stage. With the intercom working again the crew had a clean run through the final Friday stage to lie in 9th place overall at the overnight halt.
Eight stages were scheduled for the Challenge crews on Saturday but various issues meant that 46 miles of stages were cancelled by the rally organisers which dented Rodgers’ hopes of pushing for a top five finish. He got up to 7th overall, missing out on being the first Fiesta ST crew by just three seconds.
“I’m pleased to get a decent finish and our times compared very well against the other Fiesta ST drivers which, considering I’ve never done a tarmac event before, is a good achievement.”
“It’s very disappointing that we lost so much mileage on Saturday, I had hoped that we could make up enough time to get into the top five. We gained three seconds on the sixth-placed crew in the two miles of the final Langton stage so without the stage cancellations I am confident we would’ve finished higher up.”
“Thanks to Stefan for an excellent job in the co-driver’s seat, Charlie Stephens for servicing and Becky Kirvan for the loan of her car.”