The TRACKER Motorsport MG ZR 160 of Iain Henderson and Paul Farley clinched, the 2003 National Tarmacadam Championship title with a storming drive in the Wexford Rally based in Southern Ireland this past weekend.

The stunning performance netted the crew an overall Championship win in Formula 2 front wheel drive class, and class N3 despite stern competition from more powerful derivatives all year. With one event still to go in the series, victory was sealed with a maximum five highest scores making it impossible to be caught by their rivals.

The TRACKER crew also made history as they are the only team in the long running tarmac series to have won all four showroom classes during their relatively short motorsport careers.

"We are absolutely delighted to have achieved such success in what cannot be a more difficult place to rally," explained Henderson. "We went to Ireland expecting our doors to be blown off by the more experienced local crews but held our own and won our fifth Tarmacadam Championship title."

This ground breaking performance was battled out in the tight twisty lanes north of Wexford in a two day format comprising 130 stage miles. The tough route claimed over half the field before the end of the final day.

The opening leg of the event met the crews with dismal weather and wet roads leaving the already slippery stages in a treacherous condition. Out of the blocks the MG ZR was straight on the pace passing by several cars which had run out of luck over the muddy roads to be eaten by the deep ditches lining the side of the stage. Undeterred, the Birmingham based duo pressed on taking advantage of their wet weather abilities and determined to put distance between the MG ZR and the rest of the field.

As the day wore on the roads dried out but the crews then had to contend with gravel thrown out by the leading World Rally cars. A look at the time sheets at close of play saw the team in the lead over half a minute ahead

Maintaining class winning times was the order of the day for the TRACKER crew who ventured out on day two with only one thought in mind: Winning!

Coping well with the pressure Henderson drove impeccably and the MG ZR put in a faultless performance over the faster northern stages made quicker by the dry and more abrasive surface.

Hammering down roads ordinarily graced by farm machinery at well over 100mph the MG ZR's suspension ironed out the bumps leaving Henderson to extract the last ounce of performance from the car, a factor reflected in the results which saw the TRACKER team set several fastest stage times pulling out a few more seconds on their rivals as the event wore on.

As the day's competition drew to a close the team maintained a positive strategy to finish the event and keep the rest at bay.

It worked!

Flying through the finish of the final stage the MG ZR 160 had done it!

2003 Tarmacadam Champions and taking their place in the history books to boot.

Co-driver Farley summed up their success: "The demanding nature of this event and the serious competition has pushed us very hard today but we are over the moon at how well the car has worked and the amount of success it has given us throughout this season."

The TRACKER team will be guests at the Championship awards ceremony held at Moor Hall Hotel in Sutton Coldfield on 29 November 2003 where they will receive their accolades from this prestigious victory.

 

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