Laser Tools Racing Rally Team report for the Maxus Dukeries Rally 2021
For the final round of the 2021 championship the Laser Tools Racing Rally Team were competing in the Maxus Dukeries Rally at Donington Park race circuit on the 5th Dec and with nearly 100 cars entered the competition would be stiff and as always, the weather was forecast to be cold with the possibility of showers through the day the conditions would be a little challenging to say the least and to add to this the last mile of the stages would be on the infield on loose gravel with tarmac tyres on.
Sunday morning as expected was cold and wet so this made the tyre choice easy and we put the wet compound tyres on and this would also help on the loose sections to give us a little bit more grip (hopefully).Stage 1 and 2 were both the same layout and just under 9 miles in length so plenty of time to settle in but unfortunately the slippery conditions and cold tyres caught us out on the old circuit and we had a half spin losing about 8-10 seconds so I needed to ease off a little until we got the temperatures up if we could and the stage was going ok until we came to the gravel section and I carried way to much speed over a crest in to a square left and had no option but to the car sideways in to the tyre barrier. We carried on to the end of the stage and all seemed well with the car but we would need to give the suspension a check over in service for any damage and we were lucky just a small amount of body damage is all we had suffered so we could get back out for the following stages but we were in 54th position and had work to do. Stage two was a repeat of stage one and we had a lot cleaner run and we were 40 seconds quicker and had moved up 10 places now to 44th. The next stage was 9.4 miles and now on a drying track saw us move up 4 places to 40th overall and we started to think about our tyre choice and maybe go to full slicks for the next one but a sudden shower soon made the choice easy again and we left the wets on for the next stage and other than a couple of half spins we had a good run with no issues after the incident with the tyre stack. So, with two stages left to run we were now up to 39th position overall and we were pleased with that out of nearly 100 entrants.
Stage 5 saw another heavy shower come down that made the stages really tricky and to make things even worse the low sun was now shining directly in our eyes as we came up the Craner Curves into a chicane we almost had to stop to see where we had to go but we again moved up further one place to 38th. For the final stage we fitted the spot lights as darkness had descended and once again the rain was coming down even heavier now and not wanting to risk our position we had a cautious run round as to not loose to much time but to keep the speed there and it paid off as we gain another 2 places to finish 36th overall and 6th in class which provisionally has given us the class 4 win in the EMAMC championship for 2021 which is what we set out to do at the beginning of the year.
It goes without saying that none of this would be possible if it wasn’t for the amazing volunteers who marshal in the cold and wet, the organisers who spend hours arranging all the details to put these rallies all through the year and the medical staff who we hopefully never need but are there for us if we do. A massive thanks to Mick for standing in for Jemma while she has been recovering from her back-operation and my family for all the support you give me throughout the year both on the rallies and during the preparation for them and last but not least to Laser Tools Racing for the support again this year. #wearelasetrtoolsracing