DANIEL MC KENNA/ARTHUR KIERANS WIN CLASS IN SCOTLAND

5 July 2013 No Comments by The Northern Standard

After the 3rd round of the British Rally Championship, the Scottish Rally in Dumfries, Daniel McKenna and Co-Driver Arthur Kierans find themselves leading the R2 Championship by 5 points from Norwegian driver Steve Rokland and lying a magnificent 5th in the overall championship among the top R3 category drivers after finishing 1st in R2 and 8th o/a last weekend.

This is the first time the Scottish Rally has been a round of the BRC for 7 years and was a new challenge for the majority of the championship competitors including Daniel. After a very challenging recce on the Friday, all of the crews knew that they had a very tough day’s rallying ahead of them as the stages where very technical but also very fast. The biggest fear however was the sharp stone surface which would most definitely cause punctures and would probably have some reckoning on the final results. Also the fact that the Scottish national rally competitors were running ahead of the BRC crews, this would cut and rut the surface up, making it an even bigger challenge.

Stage 1 early ON Saturday morning was a 6 mile test, the crew stuck to the game plan and set 2nd fastest time in R2, 2 seconds behind Rokland with no problems. However on the next test a 13.5 mile stage the crew encountered an unavoidable rock that had been dragged onto the racing line about 1.5 miles into the stage which created such an impact that it bent the rear axel making the car handle badly for the remainder of the stage. The crew still managed to set 2nd fastest R2 time on the stage but dropped 11 seconds to Rokland as the majority of the other R2 competitors were already experiencing puncture problems. Stage 3 was a short spectator stage only 0.75 miles long before the much needed service to the car. Daniel made a big effort through the test setting the 5th fastest time o/a and fastest R2 despite the mishandling car.

With a short 20 minute service their dedicated service crew managed to replace the rear axle without any time penalties. Towards the end of stage 4 Rokland’s gearbox mounting broke and he also picked up a puncture as Daniel was 4 seconds quicker closing the gap to 9 seconds. Jon Armstrong was also having a good run and was only 6 seconds behind Daniel. Stage 5 proved to be a big turning point as Daniel had a fairly clean stage despite encountering a power steering problem near the end of the stage. Rokland was still carrying his gearbox problem and Armstrong had a puncture so Daniel had a 26 second lead at the 2nd service.

Unfortunately the power steering problem could not be fixed in the short service, so Daniel and Arthur knew they would have to carry the problem and probably drop time on the final 3 tests, but were confident of holding their …

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