Mark Gamble overcame a number of frustrating dramas to secure a good bag of points, and a podium position on his first rally over the Epynt military Ranges since a serious accident on the ranges a few years ago left the reigning Suzuki champion in hospital.
Gamble and co-driver Steve Link are contesting the full Epynt Challenge, alongside their British Rally Championship campaign and whilst Gamble had prior experience of the daunting Ministry of Defence roads this was Link's maiden visit.
And it was quite some baptism…
The JAM Motorsport prepared Peugeot 106 was down on power all day long, with low fuel pressure being the culprit, but despite that Gamble still found time for a huge moment on the third stage which saw the little 106 mount a bank and almost roll. Fortunately the pair survived with little more than a bent rear beam and a damaged front lower control arm.
“We had a hell of a moment and I really thought we were going over,” he said. “But much to the entertainment of the spectators we just mounted the bank and survived to tell the tale! Epynt is a unique place and it really does encourage you to drive neat and tidy, so both Steve and I were glad to see the finish!”
This result, 39th overall and second in class, bodes well for the rest of the season as Gamble aims to contest no less than 25 rallies in four different championships this year.
He will next be out in action in a fortnight's time, when he will tackle two very different rallies in as many days. Gamble will tackle the Malcolm Wilson Rally in Cumbria on Saturday 7 March before returning home to contest the AGBO Stages at Weston Park on the following day.by Geoff Mayes