by Geoff Mayes
Andrew Hockridge impressed on the International Rally of Yorkshire last weekend as the Welshman took his fourth podium of the year to maintain his Citroen C2R2 Cup lead as the series returned to gravel.
Hockridge took victory in the season opening Pirelli International Rally, and since then added a further two podiums to his name as the series moved onto tarmac. However the Pickering based event on Saturday saw the championship return to the loose surface as the little pocket rockets tackled the high speed Yorkshire forests.
Whilst Hockridge was at a disadvantage having never contested the event before, he then made life even harder for himself when he injured his gear changing wrist two days before the rally.
This, coupled with minor brake issues on the opening loop of stages, saw the GRH Foods backed-Citroen of Hockridge and co-driver Rich Mills drop a fair amount of time to their rivals.
However, once the brakes were sorted out the Gino's Pizza Cheese supported pair were able to consolidate their position and returned to Pickering third amongst the little C2R2's.
“Wow, what a fast event. I've never contested this rally before and it caught me by surprise a bit,” he admitted. “I was loosing time over the really fast blind crests but that's were experience counts. Rich and I had a great rally today and to take another podium is brilliant. I must say a big thanks to Geoff Jones Motorsport for setting the car up just right for us.”
Hockridge and Mills now head to the grand finale, the season ending Wales Rally GB - which counts as two rounds - with a slim lead in the Citroen C2 R2 Cup.