WHAT A RALLY!!
On Saturday morning it looked like the weather was going
to be a major issue during the event, and heavy rain on Friday
night would make the stages very tricky and tedious.
started the first three stages very cautiously as we knew
the stage conditions were very unpredictable, and this technique
paid off (especially in Pickerings!) In Pickerings we came
around a fast right hand corner and met some standing water
taking up ¾ of the road and before I knew it the car
was hydroplaning towards a mud embankment. But with some luck
the car caught traction at the last minute and I was back
After the first three stages the conditions started to dry
out so we changed to slicks. I realised then that Barry Gale,
the fastest group N competitor, had only put about 3 seconds
on us, despite the wet conditions. So at this point I decided
to step up the pace a notch and to try to compete with Barry
By the lunch stop I had got back the 3 seconds from Barry
and also put another 3 on him, and we also then heard that
my brother Roger was leading the rally, so everyone was in
high spirits in the M & M Racing team.
the last couple stages of the night we only had two minor
problems, both of which occurred in Canefield stage: In the
first run of Canefield it was not dark enough to see properly
with the fog lights, which made me hesitant going into many
of the corners. This resulted in us being slow in some of
the corners but too quick in others.
The second problem we had was in the last run of Canefield,
stage 15. We were approaching the 90 left by Vaucluse when
we noticed John Powell off in the canes. I tried to slow the
car down but the wheels locked due to the wet mud covering
the road, so I came off the brakes and back on them, and with
luck we slowed down enough to get around the 90 with no major
incidents. I admit for a moment when the wheels locked I thought
I was going to be joining John Powell in the canes. This incident
could have turned out a lot worse, but luckily it didn't.
Despite this slight hiccup we were pleased with the time we
set as it was the third fastest overall time.
After the Saturday stages were over we came home to find
out surprising news about Roger's car, that after him doing
so well in the Rally a freak occurrence had stopped the oil
pump from working which meant his rally was over. By Sunday
morning the whole atmosphere in the M & M Racing team
was just devastating.
But hats off and a HUGE thanks to my father, Stephen
(Peb) Mayers, who lifted the spirits in the camp and also
serviced my car for the whole day on Sunday, despite him not
having a minute's sleep for the night due to trying to fix
my brother's car.
On arriving at Six Roads for the morning service we got the
results of the rally and realised we had a 30 second lead
over Barry Gale and only about 20 seconds separated me from
the two competitors in front of me, Roger Hill & Kevin
At this point I decided that I had nothing to lose and that
I would chase Hill & Proctor. The conditions stayed dry
for the day, which played into my hands; also the car worked
fantastic and gave no trouble for the day. However, unfortunately
my battle was cut short as six stages in total were cancelled
that day, and even though out of the 9 stages we did drive
I had beaten both Hill & Proctor equally in 5 of the stages,
it was just not meant to be.
So we finished in the end a very satisfied 6th overall and
1st in class, but who knows what it could have been if the
last 6 stages were not cancelled
Most importantly, I would like to thank Trivial Pursuit for
coming on board with us at the last minute and also McEnearney
Quality Motors for the help and support they have provided
to the M & M racing team. Lastly, I would like to hugely
thank all the marshals for coming out and making this event
possible, as they had much harder conditions than any of the
drivers, as they stood up in the blistering heat and sometimes
the poring rain to let this event run smoothly.