Promenade Stages Rally 07-09-2013
Driver= Simon Verstraeten
Co-Driver= Dayle Traynor
Car= Talbot Sunbeam
Friday was a last minute preparation getting the car ready for the Accident Advice Solicitors Promenade Stages Rally 2013. A new exhaust system had been developed and fitted to the car to squeeze a few extra BHP out of the Vauxhall engine and a GoPro purchased to create some in car videos.
We left for New Brighton Friday evening and as usual got stuck in the rush hour traffic in Liverpool. Upon arrival we were greeted to a very cold, wet and windy Wallasey. It was decided to get the car quickly scrutineered and then head home as the social aspect was none existent due to the horizontal downpoor. In total 91 cars had entered the rally and 24 competitors in our class, we knew that we would have to be on the pace all day tomorrow as competition was tough.
Saturday morning arrived and we were to meet Simon at the promenade service area, at 6.20am. We actually arrived an hour late (Adam overslept) and a McDonald’s breakfast/coffee was a must en route.
It was wet in the morning come Stage 1 so we opted to go out on wet tyres to see what the surface of the road was like (really we would have been better on cut slicks but we didn’t have any). Stage 1 was steady to sus the stages out; it had been a while since we had competed on this event.
Stage 2 and tyre choice was to go to slicks and we saw a 7 second improvement over stage 1 and we worked out that the car was averaging roughly 4.5 MP! (We Need shares in Shell). A the end of the stage the MSA were there weighing vehicles to make sure they complied with the Blue Book weight restrictions. The tyre choice still wasn’t right and the tyres on the front were too hard a compound so Simon decided to invest in 4 Dunlop X22 (soft compound for the rest of the day).
Stage 3 the layout changed and was only a short stage which we completed in 3.07 which put us to 8th in class. And only 1 second behind the car which was 7th in Class. During the stage we caught the driver’s side rear wheel arch on a barrel going through a chicane, luckily it was only cosmetic damage.
Stage 4 which was the same as stage 3 saw us beat 2 seconds off the previous time and the tyres were really beginning to work now they had been scrubbed up.
Stage 5-6 were both really enjoyable, with multiple slits to keep me and the other navigators on their toes (Stage 6 in car is viewable at the bottom of this page). It had started to warm up now in New Brighton and the tyres on this long stage were just starting to over heat in the last mile but we carried on and set some decent times. We had now started to move up the rankings and other competitors had started to drop out due to mechanical failures.
It was now dinner time and the stages were reversed. The car was filled with fuel and off we went again. We were greeted by a quick down poor which resulted in a beautiful rainbow for the duration of the whole stage, thankfully it wasn’t wet enough to worry about tyre choices. Stage 7-8 completed and we had just two to go.
At the start of stage 9 we were now 22nd overall and 5th in class which we were happy about, at the moment we didn’t really have any more chance of moving up the rankings but it was a close battle with 3 other cars behind us in class so we had to just keep peddling on like we were and hope that we could hold them off. Another 2 stages down and we finished the rally 5th in class and 18th overall which was a respectable result which both myself and Simon were happy with.