The RACE RallySport Team with the "Pooma" went north of the border for Round Three of the 2019 MSN Circuit Rally Championship to Knockhill, Scotland's premier Motorsport venue, with high hopes following on from their P2 Class finish at Cadwell Park's Round Two.
Seeded 38th, they once again dismissed that after the first pair of stages, sitting 28th Overall and 6th in Class. This despite a very rare error from new Co-Driver Chris Allen which left Driver Ryan Connolly effectively driving on sight for the first foray into the Scottish scenery.
The next pair of stages saw the Lincoln based crew push to the form they have proven able to deliver finishing stage 4 22nd Overall and 3rd in Class, as driver Ryan Connolly says:
"It is such a challenging venue off the circuit and on the looser part of each of the stages, grip level is inconsistent given the ever changing surfaces and it's giving the Michelin's and myself a work out trying to keep the car balanced and moving forward. Chris recovered from an issue in stage one and was perfect for the remainder of the day, he's really coming on to form. The Pooma makes the time up on the Circuit parts of each loop, RWD giving us a distinct advantage out there".
From there on out, the held class podium place was not to be as the weather changed, Scotland's inevitable rain drenching the circuit and handing all advantage to the FWD crews.
Keeping it safe was the aim and using all of his circuit experience, Ryan kept the Puma doing what it needed, getting through the stages to ensure the crew were there at the end. This despite a puncture at the very end of Stage 6 as they crossed the flying finish and the rough nature of the venue causing an exhaust and axle issue. Charlie "TG" Oldman was exceptional at keeping the car operating throughout the day and the team extends massive thanks to him for that. Minimising the time loss in the challenging conditions, the pair finished the day 20th Overall and 4th in Class, missing 3rd by 22 seconds over the 10 stages.
The importance for the Championship, however, saw the crew finish P2 in Class for registered competitors. Ending the 2018 part of the season leading the MSN Circuit Rally Championship and the Michelin Cup in Class C. They are also leading the Protyre Challenge and are 3rd overall in the Championship and the Michelin Cup.
Round Four takes the team down to Brands Hatch Circuit in Kent on the 18/19th January 2019 for the first round of the new year.
Keeping the championship consistency is now the plan, for now though, enjoy the festive period whilst the Pooma undergoes further surgery!
RACE Staff on event were:-
Ryan Connolly, Chris Allen, Charlie Oldman
Allen Signs, Alcon Components, Tyre & Tech Lincoln, Longman Racing, AiM Technologies, Michelin Motorsport, Protyre Motorsport, Allen Signs
RACE would also like to thank:-
Adrian Wagstaff, Darren Spann & The Staff from the MSN Circuit Rally Championship, Laura Marsden
Steve McKenna - SMJ Photography