Posts Tagged ‘Rally’

NEWS: Merry. Christmas.

Posted: December 24, 2010 in News
Tags: , , ,

Its just 24hrs until the Fat Man arrives and fills our stockings with goodies, and hopefully the Garage Awesome team have all been good this year!

So whilst everyone is in a festive mood, from the 3 of us here we would like to take the opportunity to wish you all a very Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year, and we thought we would use all our creative skills on making a cheesy christmas card for you all!

Merry Christmas

OK, so it doesn’t feature the scene you would normally see on a christmas card, but one we have adapted from our coverage of the Roger Albert Clark rally we did earlier this month

So thank you for supporting Garage Awesome and have a fabulous xmas day and festive break

Ollie. Rich. & Chris.

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Ok, so it’s going to be very difficult to talk about anything that happened over the last few days without mentioning the weather, and this report is likely to be no exception!

Fortunately, here at Garage Awesome, we strive to get to everything to get the best coverage we can so you guys can keep up to date with all goings on and even more fortunate than that we have Coop, who we can send anywhere in any weather and instruct him not to return until he has some coverage of said event!

The event in question that ran over the weekend was the Roger Albert Clark Rally, or more commonly known as the RAC Rally, held over stages in Yorkshire, Scotland and Cumbria over 4 days, and provided us with a perfect opportunity to capture some great rallying action!

Rally Escort

The cars involved were all in the classic section, with a line-up of cars that would slot straight in on the stages of a rally in the early 80s making for that something a little bit special and nostalgic, and also a great opportunity for us to see cars in action that would have been competing at top level before we were even a glint in our Mum’s eye!

So, maybe you were one of those not affected by the weather, but for most of us over the last week, we have all been buried under many inches of snow, with the North East and Yorkshire getting it first and worst, and the with the beginning of the Rally set at the showground in Pickering, it was always going to be tricky for both competitors, marshals and spectators!

Sure enough the snow fell, and it fell hard, I’m sure a quick scan through the photos will show just how deep and heavy the snow came and settled, and those following us on Twitter (@garageawesome) or Facebook (facebook.com/garageawesome) will see various pics of our own cars stuck, and the beautiful scenery that we awoke to in our frozen cars on the Saturday morning!

Pair of Rally Escorts

As for the rally, I think we were very lucky that it ran at all, with Friday night losing a few stages, and Saturday morning the same, it is a testament to the course marshals and safety staff that worked tirelessly to keep stages open and help the stranded cars that lined the stages, both those of the spectators and competitors!

Some of the casualties of the snow were Nick Elliot’s Escort, Rob Smiths Chevette and Herve Guignard’s Porsche 911 who went off in SS13 and SS20 respectively. Other retirements to note were the flamboyant Renault 5 Turbo of Paul Chieusse and Will Onions’ Mk2 Escort

Friday’s 4 stages saw stage wins for Leigh Armstrong, Darren Moon, David Stokes and Stefaan Stouf. Saturday saw Warren Philliskirk, Will Onions, Andrew Haddon and Nick Elliot take wins but it was Stouf and co-driver Joris Erad in their Escort RS1600 that took more than anyone else despite a hard fight from veteran rally star and former British Rally Champion Gwyndaff Evans.

Porsche

Despite stage winners swapping positions throughout both Sunday and Monday, and with the cancellation of Stage 19, it left them all too much to do to catch Stouf and Erad’s Escort, who at the end of the 22nd stage on Monday late afternoon, were crowned rally winners, with Evans in the runners up spot followed by Haddon, Griffiths, Collins, Moon and another former British Rally Champion; Mark Higgins.

Interesting to note that 11 of the top 12 cars were all Escorts, only the pairing of Phil Colins and the late Colin McRae’s co-driver Nicky Grist spoilt the Ford party with a 5th place finish in their Opel Ascona 400.

So, an interesting weekend for rallying, and an amazing amount of snow to go with it, leading to a long one for our intrepid photographer, so have a flick through some amazing pictures of some real classic rally cars, and amazing Yorkshire and North East Forests, framed in the glorious white stuff!

Pic Credits – Rich Cooper

“If you go down to the woods today, you’re sure of a big surprise” and the surprise that would greet you had you been in the forests of south Wales this weekend, would have been the final round of the 2010 World Rally Championship!

The WRC is the top of the tree in terms of world motorsport in Garage Awesome’s eyes, I know some will argue that F1 is the top tier, but for sheer entertainment and driver ability, nothing comes close to the skill the WRC drivers continue to show over the 13 rounds held this year, taking in a wide variety of surfaces, stages and crazy weather conditions.

So, who did the envious task of covering the British round of the pinnacle of motorsport fall to? Well, Chris is still developing his camera skills and has spent the weekend taking photos of pretty much anything, and with work commitments elsewhere, that and the release of a certain XBox title this week beginning with “Call” and ending in “Duty”, that has turned into a full time job, put me out of the running, so it was no surprise that Coop volunteered to spend 3 days, in a wet, muddy and cold forest in the south of Wales to bring you the coverage we have!

Loeb's Citroen

Coop is a hardened rally fan, with his dad often marshalling the local and national events, so it came as no surprise that he was the man for the job, and with his camera failing just a couple of weeks back, he dug into his bank account and managed to get a replacement only last Thursday, so this is its maiden outing!

With the Garage Awesome team accounted for, on with the action! Most of you will already be aware, that for the 7th time in a row, Frenchman Sebastien Loeb and his ever present co-driver; Daniel Elena have taken the overall WRC driver’s title, so with the pressure totally off, a great display was expected from all the drivers in a straight fight to be Rally GB winner!

SS1 took part in front of a packed crowd in the city of Cardiff, in the bay, and with the perfect start for Loeb; taking the stage win over fellow Citroen C4 drivers; Sebastien Ogier and Danny Sordo.

Wales GB

Day 2 saw Special Stages 1-7 with Jari Matti Latvala, Loeb and Ogier sharing stage wins, but it was Loeb who had the advantage of 1.8secs over Petter Solberg, also driving a Citroen C4 WRC. By the end of day 3 Loeb still had his lead and had managed to increase it over Petter to just under 5 seconds, current 3rd overall was the Focus of Mikko Hirvonen.

The last day, and the last time you will get chance to see the current cars in the WRC as the regulation changes bring in a whole new fleet for the 2011 season, saw Loeb carry on winning the first of 4 stages by 7 seconds extending the lead over Solberg to 11.5 seconds, and then taking SS18 too, making an 18 second cushion going into the last 40km.

But, the fairytale ending was fulfilled, despite Latvala and Sordo taking SS19 and 20 respectively, King Sebastien of Rallyworld rode his trusty Citroen steed home to take victory of Wales Rally GB, followed by Petter Solberg and Jari Matti Latvala taking the final podium spot!

Ken Block

Retirements, fortunately, were few and far between, with Ogier’s off road expedition on SS8 making him the only top runner to fail to complete the rally. Fan-favourite, American internet video star Ken Block, came close however, with a broken drive shaft on day 2 putting him behind, however to make up for it, he told media afterwards that on SS19 he “went extra hard and extra sideways” to say thank you to the hardcore fans out on the stages.

Finally, before you indulge in some action shots, we have to mention the other championships decided today with Xavier Pons clinching the SWRC in his Ford Fiesta and Armindo Araujo’s Lancer Evo taking the PWRC championship title!

Phew, that’s Wales and The WRC done for another year! It would be nice to go again next year, hey maybe we can convince Coop that we should all go! Be sure to know that Garage Awesome will continue to bring you some of the UK’s best rally action in 2011!

Pic Credits – Rich Cooper