David Wright had a successful outing on the Grizedale Stages on Saturday when he took second place overall on the Coniston-based event in a GPM-prepared Mitsubishi Lancer Evo 9.
With his usual co-driver Shelley Rogerson out of action with a broken foot, Wright once again drafted in Manxman Rob Fagg to read the pace-notes, Fagg also having sat with Wright on the recent Cambrian rally where they finished fifth overall.
The rally kicked off with a 9 mile stage in the southern end of the unusually sunny Grizedale forest complex. Wright and Fagg were immediately on the pace, defeating two World Rally Cars to take third place overall behind former British Rally champion Mark Higgins who was in the lead and second placed Simon Hughes.
"The first stage was very slippery, there were ice patches in the shade and we had a few hairy moments", said Wright. "We were glad to get through unscathed and pleased to find we were on the pace".
Stage 2 saw the crews move to the north of the forest for another 9 mile stage. Wright took 7 seconds off Hughes to move into second place behind Higgins.
Following a service halt in Coniston the rally headed to Dunnerdale for two runs of a short stage. With two second fastest times Wright consolidated his place on the leaderboard, taking a further three seconds out of Hughes.
Stages 5 and 6 were a repeat of 1 and 2 and the drying conditions saw Wright improve on his morning times to finish a comfortable 30 seconds ahead of Hughes with Higgins winning the event.
"I'm really pleased with the result and to be second behind one of Britain's top drivers is a dream finish,” Wright summed-up. "The rally was brilliant, the stages were excellent and the car performed well. I'd like to thank GPM for preparing the car and Grove Hill Garage for their support."
Following three successful outings in 2008 Wright is now hoping to contest the BTRDA championship in 2009 if sufficient backing can be found.