The second round of the Kick Start Junior Rally Championship was held at the coastal track of Anglesey for the Lee Holland 16 Rally. The weather that greeted the teams was fresh, but looking to stay dry for the day which was a was a change compared to recent visits to the Welsh track.
After the 1st round at 3 Sisters the previous weekend on the tight and twisty track, the much longer straights and corners over the 8 stages, gave the Formula 1000 cars a chance to stretch their legs and touch speeds of 100Mph.
After the first 2 stages Josh McErlean had established himself at the top of the leaderboard setting the quickest times in both stages to give himself a 7 second lead over 1st round winner Peter Bennett. Tom Delaney was also back for his first rally of the championship and showed no signs of “Rustyness” as he sat in 3rd place, 12 seconds behind.
Drama struck Delaney on the 3rd stage, rolling his car after clipping a tyre. Amazingly, the car finished back on its 4 wheels, engine revving and in gear. Delaney wasted no time and put his foot down to record the 3rd fastest time of the stage.
At the half way point, McErlean had continued to grow his lead over Bennett to 19 seconds as he carried on setting the fastest times in every stage. Further down the order Dan Curwen and Alex Tentori both had mechanical failures on their cars resulting in not finished the stages and therefore having to sit out the rest of the rally.
A great battle was also emerging between Tom Llewellin, Ellie Williams, Jack Hartley and Tommi Meadows for 4th place. The drivers were well matched and would continue swapping places and times all day. Tomas Rawlings was also showing huge aggression and massive improvements on only his 2nd rally and the final one in his underpowered Micra before switching to a new C1 for the next round in May.
As the drivers enter the final 2 stages, the rally was McErleans to lose as he had a commanding 23 second lead over the chasing Bennett. But just as the drivers were starting their engines to line up for the 7th stage, Josh noticed their car had leaking air valves on both front wheels. The team quickly set about changing both wheels just before the final cut off to take their place at the start.
Peter Bennett pushed his Skoda CitiGo to the limit on the 7th stage and almost took the wrong split on the 7th stage causing them to lose time and miss the chance to close the gap to McErlean.
So as the final stage was completed, Josh completed a clean sweep of stage fastest times to win by a comfortable 33 seconds, with Bennett extending his Championship lead after collecting 29 points for 2nd place. Tom Delaney would take a fantastic 3rd place in his damaged Suzuki thanks to the help of 2 rolls of Gaffer Tape.
The final results for the Lee Holland 16 Rally were:
|Josh McErlean/ Thomas McErlean||6:54||6:51||7:10||7:02||6:06||6:01||7:59||7:56||55:59||1|
|Peter Bennett/ Arthur Kierans||7:00||6:52||7:17||7:07||6:10||6:01||8:08||7:57||56:32||2|
|Tom Delaney/ Yan Griffiths||7:01||6:56||7:21||7:15||6:08||6:01||8:07||8:03||56:52||3|
|Tom Llewellin/ Ross Whittock||7:08||7:09||7:27||7:13||6:14||6:08||8:14||8:08||57:41||4|
|Tommi Meadows/ Gareth Hooper||7:16||7:07||7:28||7:19||6:14||6:11||8:18||8:09||58:02||5|
|Jack Hartley/ John Cressey||7:26||7:11||7:27||7:20||6:16||6:13||8:20||8:24||58:37||6|
|Ellie Williams/ Elgan Davies||7:21||7:12||7:33||7:20||6:21||6:17||8:29||8:14||58:47||7|
|James Hall/ Simon Bradley||7:33||7:04||7:26||7:25||6:23||6:12||8:24||8:35||59:02||8|
|Tom Rawlings/ Rachel Inns||7:44||7:12||7:32||7:24||6:27||6:18||8:28||8:19||59:24||9|
|George Sheard/ Steve hallmark||7:44||7:29||7:47||7:34||6:41||6:31||8:52||8:51||1:01:29||10|
|Edward Lewis/ Emma Morrison||9:00||7:44||7:56||7:33||6:52||6:31||8:49||8:35||1:03:00||11|
|Adam Ripper/ Nigel Ashton Banks||8:24||8:26||8:45||8:29||7:23||7:12||9:49||10:00||1:08:28||12|
The next round of the Kickstart Junior rally will be on 15th May at the new venue of Melbourne Airfield in York.