Alan Cookson and co-driver Julian Wilkinson ended their Pirelli MSA Gravel Championship campaign on a positive note as they finished 12th overall on the Bulldog Rally last weekend.
Cookson and Wilkinson also claimed fifth in class B13 in their GillettsSpar.com, Robert Wiseman Dairies, VK Vodka Kick, Kumho Tyres and Riverside Property Services supported-Subaru Impreza World Rally Car in the final round of the series.
The crew had a relatively trouble-free run on the 65-mile Oswestry-based event that they had never contested before.
They began to get concerned when a misfire appeared in stage two but it was easily resolved in first service with a different type of spark plug.
On stage three the duo were first to run through the test after a hold-up and were distracted by some spectators walking on the tracks but still managed to post their fastest time of the day as they were 13th quickest.
The following three stages went well for the pair especially after opting for the softer compound Kumho tyre for the last two stages, and reported no dramas at all as they rounded-up their 2008 season with a solid result.
“We're pleased to end the year with a good finish and result,” Cookson said. “It's a shame we just couldn't make the top 10 on the last round but we're still very happy.
“The car felt right all day and we enjoyed the rally. We just had a bit of a heart-stopping moment when the misfire started, but it wasn't a big problem and was easily solved in service by the TEG Sport mechanics.
“The season's been varied for us, we had a great win on our local event in the summer, but have also had some bad luck and frustrating moments on a couple of events as well.
“We have, however, been pleased to pick up class awards on the final two events of the year and end it on a high with a good run on what has been probably the best event of the year and one we hope to be back to do in March 2009.”
Cookson and Wilkinson finished 15th overall in the Pirelli MSA Gravel Championship standings with Cookson eighth in the class B13 drivers' table and Wilkinson seventh in the co-drivers' points.
The Bulldog Rally was the last event of the year for the crew and they have yet to decide what they will be doing next season, but are considering a third year in the national gravel series.