Rally Report Vale of York Stages 2021
Sunday the 12th September saw the Laser Tools Racing Rally team head for York Raceway for the 5th round of the 2021 championships the Vale of York Stages Rally, covering 6 stages on some very fast and challenging surfaces and with a full entry of 69 competitors it would be a tough day for all the competitors.
Seeded at car 19 we were hopeful of a good result and with only 3 rounds left in the championship a good points score was required to keep us towards the top of the table. The first stage of 8 miles started for us at 09:17 and just over half a mile in to the stage I noticed the car was pulling to the left going down the straight and as we turned the square right at the end of the straight the car was understeering but I thought that it could be the road surface not being dirty and causing the issue. We continued on but the problem got worse and I suspected that we had a puncture and this was confirmed when we got to a point where the car was starting to vibrate as the tyre was coming off the wheel. We decided to stop and change the wheel to save any damage to the suspension but this would drop us 3min 30 seconds which put us in last place at the end of the stage. With 5 stages left we knew it was going to be a difficult day but you never know what other issues people might have so we would try our best to make up some places through the day hopefully with no more issues.
Stage 2 was a repeat of the first one but we were trying a little to hard and made some mistakes and a few close calls so I decided to ease off on stage 3 to preserve the car and keep it neat and tidy with the times hopefully coming to us. This seamed to work and we gradually started to move up the order stage after stage and by the end of stage 3 we had moved up to 44th place so things were going the right way. A push on stage 4 saw an improvement of 6 places with still a bit to do on the remaining stages but we were now aiming for a top 30 finish. This unfortunately we missed out on by one place finishing in 31st and 6th in class but a positive from the day is that we were competitive and consistent on the 5 stages after the puncture and the car was faultless again throughout the day.
Thanks to Laser Tools for the support in 2021 and to all the organisers, marshals and safety crews who give there time up to organise the event. Finally thanks the family for the support and supplies as ever a great job and last but by no means the least Eddie the rally mascot.
Next event is the Malton Stages Rally in the North Yorkshire forests 7th November.