The Rally2Raise team of Aberdeen’s Rachel Clark and Brampton’s Caroline Lodge enjoyed another successful event last weekend when they finished second in class on the GWF Energy Merrick Stages rally.Heavy rain the day before the rally made the 9 miles of the opening Craignell stage extremely slippery with several of the top drivers having spins. There were no problems for Rachel in her E.Watson and Son, Pirelli, AW Motorsport and McPherson Document Solutions-supported Nissan Micra 1.3 though and she completed the stage fourth in class.
The Dallash stage was next and Rachel maintained her position with another good performance. Following a service halt the crews headed for a pair of stages in Glentrool forest including one that was 13 miles long. With a lot of long straights these stages didn’t suit the Micra which, with around 60bhp, was the lowest powered car in the event. However, Rachel extracted every bit of performance from the car to move up to second in class.One more stage stood between Rachel and a great result but at 14 miles stage 5 was the longest of the event and it had already claimed several of the cars that were running ahead of the Micra. The crew and car emerged unscathed though and Rachel and Caroline made it to the event finish in Wigtown.
“The stages were absolutely awesome,” said Rachel. “The tracks were very slippery and the weather went from sun to torrential rain and back so conditions were extremely challenging. The little Micra struggled on the long straights, we definitely needed a lot more power there.”“I tried as much as possible to keep the momentum up – when you slow down it takes a long time to build up speed again in a 1.3. This led to some interesting moments though including bouncing through a ditch at a hairpin in front of a group of spectators. After our gear linkage issues on the last event it was great to have a troublefree rally this time.”
“Thanks to the Marshall family for putting on a brilliant event, I thoroughly enjoyed it. Thanks also to E.Watson and Son, Pirelli, AW Motorsport and McPherson Document Solution for their support and to Clark Motorsport for trailering the car and servicing.”For more information please visit www.rally2raise.co.uk or www.facebook.com/rally2raise.