by Geoff Mayes
Alex Allingham enjoyed a strong run on the Coppermine Grizedale Stages last weekend, combating snow and ice and, at times, thick fog, to end the six stage event in a career best sixth overall and second in class.
Although the Stalybridge based-man had used his recently acquired Richard Allingham Cars backed Subaru Impreza N10 on the recent Cambrian Rally, a painful toothache had meant that he could not drive the car to its, or his, full potential.
However this weekend he was in fine form and, along with co-driver Mark Glennerster, the pair ran inside the top ten all day long.
With this being Allingham's eighth consecutive Grizedale start he was well aware of how tricky the event could be and with a light snow scattering along the stages, as well as the potential for ice in places, he treated the opening stage cautiously, going ninth quickest, but confident that there was more to come. Third fastest in the production class through the second stage showed how quickly the 24 year old was adapting to his new stead.
With waves of fog rolling in, Alex was caught out in the fourth stage when he came out of a cloud of thick fog and was blinded by the low lying sunlight, resulting in a quick excursion into a ditch. No damage was done and he dropped minimal time with this minor indiscretion. The day ended with repeats of the opening stages where Alex was able to consolidate his position, returning to Coniston in sixth position overall and second in Group N.
"Well I'm very pleased with the result although I must say I wasn't particularly happy with my driving this morning," he stated. "But looking at my stage times I don't think there is much room to complain!
"The conditions were really tricky out there and it was hard to judge the level of grip, as we discovered on Stage 4 when we had a brief excursion into a ditch.
"I'd like to thank the organisers and marshals for another brilliant event. I've been doing this rally since I was old enough to drive and I will definitely be back again for sure."
Allingham and the team are now looking forward to collecting the BTRDA Clubman Production Cup award for the second year running at next Saturday's awards ceremony. At present, he has no firm plans for 2009 but he is looking for the budget to contest a major championship.