Bentham's David Wright was denied a win on round 2 of the BTRDA rally championship, the Malcolm Wilson rally, last weekend after mechanical issues on the final stage of the event lost him time.
Despite suffering from a lack of brakes for part of the opening Comb stage Wright and co-driver Steve Pugh were third fastest in their Grove Hill Garage and Kumho Tyres-supported Ford Focus WRC.
The next stage was Wythop which featured a very long straight where Wright had the Focus on the rev-limiter in 6th gear. His bravery was rewarded with a fastest time which took him into the lead of the event.
There was one more stage before the service halt and Wright set another fastest time which gave him a lead of six seconds over Charlie Payne.
After a short stage in Thornsgill there were two stages in Grizedale forest, a venue where Wright usually goes very well. It was all going to plan until the Focus hit a large puddle of water which caused the windscreen to instantly steam up. The crew were forced to slow to walking pace for 10 seconds as visibility was zero. The time loss meant that Payne and Wright were exactly equal on time after the first Grizedale stage.
A storming drive in the second Grizedale stage saw Wright pull out a lead of 14 seconds and, although Payne pulled back a second on the next stage, it looked like Wright was set for the win.
Disaster struck on the final Greystoke stage though as a driveshaft broke on the start line. With drive going to three wheels rather than four the handling of the Focus became very difficult which led to a spin at a tight hairpin. At least 30 seconds was lost and Wright dropped to second overall as a result.
"We had a great run and I was really getting used to the car and enjoying the performance," said Wright. "Despite one or two issues we were setting some very fast times and with a lead of 13 seconds going into Greystoke the win should've been ours."
"However, the shaft issue made the car extremely hard to control, we were lucky to get away with only one spin. Sadly we dropped too much time so had to settle for second. It's still an excellent result but I was gutted to have the win snatched from us."
"I'm hoping to get some funding together to do more BTRDA rounds this year. Thanks to GPM, Grove Hill Garage, Kumho Tyres, Proflex and Drenth for their help and support."