Wales Rally GB is magical for Martin

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West Sussex rally driver Shaun Martin recorded his best result at the Wales Rally GB National, finishing 16th overall.

After starting in Newtown in mid-Wales over the ceremonial start ramp, the field travelled out to the first stage of 12.73 miles.

The West Chiltington ace and co-driver Anthony Concannon had no dramas in this stage, nor in the second 15.45-mile stage which last year saw Martin’s car drowned out in the water splash.

This year the crew took a conservative approach to that part of the track and the Subaru Impreza navigated it well.

Day one ended with the longest stage of the rally and they were 18th overall by the end of it. Day two took place over the Epynt military ranges with fast classic stages. The type of road surface was different from the previous day with the forest tracks being dry and dusty. The crew successfully completed the first stage but in the second, the car’s exhaust manifold cracked.

The final stage of the day had a big jump in the middle and a very fast section towards the end of the stage.

Martin said: “I loved that stage. We were on the rev limiter in fifth gear for around a minute – fantastic.”

The crew returned to Cardiff to book into the service area for repairs.

Day three brought slippery surfaces with the roads like slate and the threat of punctures. The first stage - Port Talbot - was the longest of the day, a real Wales Rally GB classic.

With the car back up to full power, the crew reported problems with selecting second and third gears and hoped they would get through the final two stages.

The car hit a jump and the back launched in the air. Thankfully after the front of the car scraped along the road, the back came down and the crew were able to finish.

Martin and Concannon booked into the final time control in a credible 16th position overall and praised sponsors Presteigne Tyre Services Ltd, Jap Performance Parts, Redmist Productions and Storrington Car Parts as well as their four-strong service crew.