British Rally Elite member Jason Pritchard survived a holed radiator, intercom failure and a fifth gear spin to finish the Jim Clark International Rally second in class as the season reaches the half way mark.
Pritchard, the reigning Citroen C2R2cup champion, has never had a clean run on the Scottish round of the MSA British Rally Championship and this year was no exception.
A holed radiator before the start of the rally was hardly ideal and Pritchard, co-driven by fellow Welshman Andrew Edwards, tackled the opening loop cautiously. Six stages run around Duns, four of them in complete darkness, saw the Competition Cars Insurance assisted C2R2 Max trading times with reigning Irish champion Martin McCormack and by the end of the opening day the two young drivers were equal on times.
Saturday morning dawned and with it the battle raged on, with Pritchard and Edwards swapping times with their rivals all morning long. However intercom failure half way through one of the stages cost Pritchard time as he was forced to drive for a while with no notes. Then, in an effort to close the gap Jason experienced a heart in the mouth 100mph spin in fifth gear, fortunately without any damage.
After 17 stages in changeable weather conditions the pair were happy to return to Kelso for the ceremonial finish in 17th position overall and second in Class R2.
“Putting a hole in the radiator wasn't very clever, but thanks to the help of a number of people, especially the Everards and McCormacks, we were able to start the rally,” he said. “Considering I had no opportunity to test before the rally and that I haven't rallied on tarmac since last August I am very happy with the weekend as a whole.
“Fair play to Marty, he drove a brilliant rally, and it's great to see that the two of us are so evenly matched for pace.”
In an effort to gain more tarmac experience of his C2R2 Max on tarmac, Pritchard will contest the Mini Epynt Rally this coming weekend before rejoining the MSA British Rally Championship for round four, the Isle of Man International Rally in July.
by Geoff Mayes