The rally started from Ford’s M-Sport World Rally Team base near Cockermouth in Cumbria and the crews faced 8 tough stages in the Lake District forests. Kirvan-Rodgers and new co-driver Abi Haycock made a good start on the opening Comb stage in their Nightingale Nursing Recruitment Agency Ltd-supported Ford Fiesta ST, which featured a new livery painted by Kirvan-Rodgers’ two children. They set fourth fastest time in the class, a position that was maintained over the following Wythop and Greystoke stages.
“The first three stages were ok but we had a few issues with the car,” said Kirvan-Rodgers. “The brakes weren’t performing as well as they should and the handling of the car felt strange. We tried making some suspension adjustments and tyre pressure tweaks at the service halt after Greystoke to improve matters."
A short stage in Thornsgill was next before two tests in the notoriously tough Grizedale forest. With the car handling slightly better Kirvan-Rodgers moved up to third in class after the first Grizedale test, a position he maintained until the event finish.
“We still had issues with the handling of the car in the later stages so we couldn’t push as hard as we liked although it was better than the early stages. I’m pretty happy to have finished third in the circumstances. We’ll have to strip down the car now and see if we can find what caused the issues.”
“I enjoyed the event, the Malcolm Wilson rally always provides a really challenging route including some of the real classic stages. Abi did a great job on her first event with me, we're planning on contesting the next round of the Fiesta championship in Somerset next month and hopefully some further rounds if we can secure some additional support."Please visit www.facebook.com/timrodgersrallying for further pictures from the event.