(Photo courtesy of Lawrence Clift Photography)
Mini Girls Rally Team: Solway Coast Rally Report – 6th August 2017
Our home event, only a 500 mile round trip this time… Oh, and a ferry to Dundrennan Army Range in the Scottish boarders. Dunndrennan is an active range, so we had been warned not to stray off the rally route!
Mini Girls Rally Teams newly decalled ’93 Rover Cooper.
Saturday afternoon I met up with Emily and the Mini, my Dad brought the Mini up to Solway from Mini Sport, where he had been working on the car for the last 2 weeks in preparation for the event. Work completed since the Caerwent rally included upgrades to brakes, suspension and the gearbox! Thank you to Mini Sport and Dad for their help with the set up, and to our new sponsors Sanwa Trading for their support.
So we were ready to take on the Boys once again…
Scrutineering passed Saturday afternoon no problems. The weather was great, and it was really good to meet up with other Championship competitors and officials, they’re fantastic people and it was a great atmosphere!
It was also nice to meet up with fellow Mini Sport Ltd team member Jack Hartley, at just 17 Jack is the youngest competitor of the 2017 Mini Sport Mini Cup!
Louise and Emily are all smiles at the start of the Solway Coast stages of the Mini Sport Mini Cup.
Competition day… 9 Stages to go! No recce, and as neither I, nor Emily, had done this event before, we were completely blind to what was ahead.
We left the service area just after 9am to start the first of nine stages, all short stages between approximately 2 1/2 to 5 miles long, the stages were very tough! One minute we were on tarmac, the next concrete and then gravel! The course was very narrow at times with over hanging trees causing a green slippery surface, oh and the dreaded pot hole! We luckily managed to avoid it, but unfortunately others didn’t and they ended up off the road attached to a tree!
We had a small off ourselves on stage 4, late braking on a slippery bend and off the road we went! But we managed to keep going in the long grass and pointed the Mini in the direction of the road and we pulled ourselves out! Grass was flying everywhere inside and outside the Mini! Once back on the road the Mini felt fine, I was sure we had done at least some body damage as we were virtually on our side at one point! Once we got back to service we discovered nothing, not even a scratch!
We steadily made progress throughout the day, the heavens opened in the afternoon as if it wasn’t slippery enough, but we changed to wet tyres which definitely helped us! Stage 7 and there was a big delay due to an accident and all competitors were sent back to the service area until the stage was checked by the MSA. The stage was subsequently cancelled, eventually we went on to do the last 2 stages and there it was… The End! Another rally completed and we got to the end in one piece, whilst having fun! We also gained a little more experience and learned lessons to take forward to the next round.
Emily once again did a great job on the notes, we both had a fantastic time, and the Mini was just brilliant!
We were delighted to get a 3rd place in the open class and we played our Joker card which gives us double point for the event, and to top it off we are now lying 2nd overall in The HRCR Mini Sport Mini Cup Open Class going into The Rally Isle Of Man on the 14th September. The Isle of Man counts as 2 rounds and we are very excited for the challenge!
Thank you so much for your support and we as a team are very positive that with your support we are making a difference to other people’s lives and not just our own!
You can donate to Marie Curie via our Just Giving page here.
Louise and Emily – Mini Girls Rally Team.
Blog courtesy of Louise Thomas.