Spencer Sport’s Wales Rally GB challenge ends early
Spencer Sport’s toughest challenge of the year ended up even tougher than it had anticipated
Wales Rally GB National 13th – 16th November 2014
Spencer Sport’s toughest challenge of the year ended up even tougher than it had anticipated when, after a promising start in this year’s Wales Rally GB National event, the engine in the team’s Suzuki Swift stopped on the third stage. And, while it wasn’t the result the team was hoping for, driver Jamie Jukes and co-driver David Williams remain philosophical about the outcome.
The Wales Rally GB is the UK’s round of the World Rally Championship, comprising an International event for the WRC teams and a National event for smaller teams and non-homologated cars. With Spencer Sport based in Llayndysul, Ceredigion, the opportunity to take part in Wales’ biggest annual sporting event was too good to miss and therefore, entry into the National rally was potentially, a great way to round off its high-profile season in the Welsh Clubman Forest Championship.
The build-up to the event went well, with the team attracting attention through its publicity and competitions, whilst gaining followers on Twitter and Facebook in the process. Therefore, following a highly successful test with the Oil4Wales, Braces Bakery, Anglian Plant, Spencer ECA and Rugbi Industrial Supplies sponsored Suzuki Swift a few days before the event, the scene was set for a successful Wales Rally GB debut.
Starting at Deeside and finishing in Llandudno, the National event comprised 13 stages in the North Wales Forests: four on Friday, five on Saturday and four on Sunday – most of them used twice by the International event that covered nearly double the distance.
For Jamie and Dave things started well, with a confident drive through stage one – a nine-mile run in Gartheiniog Forest. They emerged from the first stage 14th overall and second in class behind a four-wheel-drive Fiesta S2000 and therefore, were happy with their progress so far.
Then, before they started stage two – a 13-miler through Dyfi – reports came in that some of the roads were in poor condition due to the damage done by the cars that had preceded them on the international event. Knowing there was still a long way to go, Jamie and Dave opted for a cautious approach and, although making it through the stage unscathed, had perhaps been too restrained and dropped a little time.
However, their progress wasn’t helped when Jamie found he was having trouble selecting gears, the car’s paddle-shift system not responding as it should. Consequently, with the roads drying out, the team decided to up the pace in stage three, the 14.63-miles of classic Rally GB stage of Hafren Sweet Lamb. Jamie takes up the story from here:
“With the surface providing more grip, we upped the pace in stage three and it was going really well, until there was a sudden loss of power and then a noise you really don’t want to hear coming from an engine – and that was that. We stopped at a point in the stage where Hafren becomes Sweet Lamb, so all we could do was wait until there was a gap in the rally and get a few people to help tow and push us out. Thanks to them, we were able to get the car off the stage and then picked up by our service crew.
“Although it wasn’t the way we wanted to end our season, we have a fantastic year and achieved a great deal. I would therefore like to thank all of our motorsport partners for their support during the season and for giving us the opportunity to take part in Wales’ biggest event and one of motorsport’s most prestigious annual occasions. I must also thank our followers, friends and supporters for all their encouragement throughout the year. Here’s to 2015!”
The Spencer Sport team is supported by its motorsport partners: Oil 4 Wales, Spencer ECA, Anglian Plant, Reeds Construction & Engineering, Brace’s Bakery and Rugbi Industrial Supplies.
For further information visit: www.spencersport.co.uk