Faulkner Flys to Second Overall
Mike Faulkner & Peter Foy started the 2012 Scottish Rally Championship with an excellent 2nd overall on a snowy and slippery Snowman Rally.
The 2012 Arnold Clark Thistle Hotel Snowman Rally, the opening round of the MSA Scottish Rally Championship attracted a great entry with 120 crews set to do battle over 6 stages around the highlands of Aberdeenshire.
(Photos courtesy of Lindsay PhotoSport)
The heavy overnight snow forecast didn’t materialise but as crews assembled in Inverness snow was failing on the opening stage making tyre choice and road position the talking point. Stage 1, was 6.5 miles through Meall Mor.
The 2011 Scottish and BRC champions David Bogie were the first crew through the stage, car 2 was Euan Thorburn who was using a Ford Focus World Rally Car for the first time, Euan opted to run down the running order in the hope he would benefit from a clean, snow free line. Mike started 2nd car on the road. “Were looking forward to the event” said Mike at the start “we’ll need to work hard to achieve a podium, but we are ready for a good day”
Mike was 2nd fastest through stage 1, 13 seconds ahead of Donnie McDonnald, and 15 down on David Bogie. The stage was fast and Mike was little cautious off line in the snow, Stages 2 and 3 was a short 2 mile blast in the forest by Kessock Bridge, the stage was overgrown and mosey and although no snow it was very slippy., A number of crews were caught out and off the road, Mike and Bogie set identical times on stage 2 with Mike fastest by 2 seconds on stage 3.
As the crews left service, based at the Black Isle show ground, for stage 4 Torr Achility, snow was again the talking point; Mike opted for a gravel tyre. The final third of the stage was covered in snow and with no option to alter diff settings or switch to snow tyres Mike and Peter slithered through the stage, dropping over 40 seconds to David Bogie and moving to third overall,
The final 2 stages would provide a challenge and with snow again falling the crew opted for snow tyres, Mike set a good time taking 4 seconds out of Bogies lead. “the stage was clear of snow that’s the first time I have driven a stage hoping to find snow round the next corner, we were on the wrong tyre, but we have moved back up to 2nd overall.” said Mike. Stage 5 was over 12 miles through Glen Urguhart, The team changed back to gravel tyres however after 4 miles it was clear the right tyres was a snow tyre! Mike struggled with traction and under steer with an overshoot and a few near misses. He was 2nd fastest and returned to the finish in Inverness a fantastic 2nd overall.
“That’s a great start to the season and our highest Snowman rally finish, the conditions were very variable, and the snow particularly on stages 4 and 6 gave us a real challenge. We seemed to have the right tyres but had them on for the wrong stages!”
1 David Bogie (Dumfries) Kevin Rae (Hawick) Mitsubishi Lancer EVO 9 50.03
2 Mike Faulkner (Kirtlebridge)/ Peter Foy (Bingley) Mitsubishi Lancer EVO 6 51.11
3 Peter Taylor (Carlisle) Andrew Roughhead Ford Focus WRC 52.46
4 Rory Young (Dumfries) Allan Cathers (Carlisle) Mitsubishi Evo 6 52.49
5 John McClory / David Hood Subaru Impreza 52.50
Next event Scottish Championship Rally is the Border Counties on 17th March