Rallynuts Success for Jackson
April 13th saw Matthew Jackson return to competition in the Rallynuts Stages behind the wheel of a Ford Fiesta R2, owned and prepared by current British Rally Champion, Matt Edwards. After a 7 month layoff, the Warwickshire based Automotive engineer headed to the Builth Wells based event with limited expectations:
‘I am looking forward to getting back out in the R2 car. The Woodpecker Rally last September left us wanting more and to put the mechanical issues to bed to get that result in the car. We are going with no real targets apart from getting to the end of the event with no dramas and gaining that all important mileage in the car’.
Matthew would be co-driven for the first time by fellow Welshman Rhys Stoneman. The pair headed out to the first 2 competitive stages around the classic Hafren forest looking to settle into the event and get used to each other. A small issue with the brakes slowed their progress slightly, but thanks to the great work of the management crew, the issues resolved in a few minutes on the road side and the pair headed to the middle loop of stages.
With much more confidence in each other and the car the middle loop of stages began to show the potential of Matthew & Rhys with 2 good stage times, in particular stage 4 where they would set 2nd fastest time in the class, just 1 second behind the leader. The R2 class in the event would prove to be very competitive with 12 like specification cars entered with a whole range of drivers with differing levels of experience. The team would be rewarded with 5th in the R2 class and 38th overall on their return to Builth Wells for the midday service.
‘I am happy with this morning’s progress. We have had a steady start to get settled in and the last 2 stages have been positive, the times much closer to the rest of the competition, all of which have been in these cars all year. We will head into this afternoon with the same target, no mistakes and focus on our own event and improve with every mile.’
The final 2 stages would prove to be extremely influential to the final result. Unfortunately Matthew and Rhys would see the small brake problem return reducing the confidence in the car, however the option was taken to reduce the pace to a manageable level in the final, but longest stage of the rally to ensure they made it to the finish. Even with this, the pair were able to move up the order to finish the event in an extremely positive 29th overall and 4th in the R2 class. At the end of the event, Matthew commented:
‘I am extremely happy with this result. We came here with no expectations so to finish 4th in the R2 class is a bonus. The positive of this is that we know where the gap to our competitors is so shows high potential for the future. The aim of today was to build experience in the car as well as between Rhys and I. If we were to carry on from here, I am sure there would be a fastest time on the board! I have to thank Matt for providing a great car, the small brake issue out of all of our control and one of those things so glad we could reward the team with a solid finish. Having Matt (Edwards) on hand has been a great help, we’ve worked together since I have started rallying so to be able to show the progress in this way really is rewarding’.
Matthew is looking for opportunities to build on the Rallynuts Stages experience and get back into an R2 specification car in the not too distant future. Should any party be able to help with this in any way at all, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org
Matthew and Rhys would like to pass on their thanks for all the help leading up to and during the event too:
Rallynuts stages organisers and marshals
Images courtesy of Tom Banks Photography