On his first event in his new N15-specification Subaru Impreza, Saltash rally driver Alan Cookson emerged from Saturday's Coppermines Grizedale Stages rally with a superb seventh place despite a problem late on with a puncture.
Along with Tunbridge Wells co-driver Julian Wilkinson, the TEG Sport prepared Subaru performed faultlessly. Preparing for a concerted assault on the 2010 British Rally Championship, Cookson, who has lost over six stones in a year as part of his bid, was using the event as a test and despite it being over twenty years since he last contested the event and getting used to left hand drive, he made a steady start and by SS4, held a fine eighth place.
Cookson attacked the last two stages but on the penultimate stage in Grizedale South, he clattered a rock around two miles from the end of the stage which punctured the tyre and bent the bottom arm which resulted in a steady run through the final stage whereby he clinched seventh overall and second in class at the Coniston finish.
"I'm absolutely delighted with our progress today and to cap it all off with a decent result, although it feels like I've been in a wrestling match with someone!" said Cookson. "Everything is different and it's just a case of getting used to it as the first time I'd sat in the car was on the way to the start this morning.
"We're planning a major attack on the BRC next year, and will do a couple of Irish rounds too, and all this is part of our preparations so we've ticked another box and now need some more time in the car so we'll get a couple of tests in and make some more progress.
"Thanks to all of our sponsors especially Robert Wiseman Dairies and Speedline Wheels this weekend, and of course to Stuart Newby - and all the team at TEG Sport."