Rally Return with a win!
Rally North Wales saw a return to the competitive rally scene for Matthew Jackson. The first round of the Motorsport UK Pirelli Ravenol Pirelli Welsh Rally Championship based in Dolgellau was a successful affair for Matthew Jackson & Sasha Heriot picking up 1st in class and a very creditable 16th overall in the interclub event.
Having been out of active competition on a full time basis since 2016, the pair set very reasonable expectations for the first event of the year:
‘Our main aim for the event is to complete the full rally distance, learn the new car and get those all-important miles under our belts so early on in the year. The class is set to be very competitive which will provide a great benchmark for our pace’.
Rally North Wales saw the debut of a new car to the team, an R2 specification Ford Fiesta R2T. The car itself built by the Ford World Rally Team, M-Sport.
With unusually high temperatures for March in the UK, the first stage was a huge success, the returning pairing posting a stage time 2nd in class, just 1 second behind the leader. The remaining 3 stages of the morning loop posed some extremely challenging conditions, however conditions in which Jackson revelled moving into the class lead by the midday service.
Credit: Paul Mitchell
The afternoon saw a repeat of the 4 stages, once again the conditions proving to be very tough on the car and crew. A tactical approach from the Carbon Positive Motorsport supported crew saw their class lead maintained as well as protecting the car on the rough terrain. The stage times steadily improving in the overall classification, knowing where there are areas of caution and areas to improve. Unfortunately during the last 2 stages of the event, an issue with the clutch became apparent resulting a slightly reduced pace to preserve the car.
Matthew & Sasha returned to the finish in Dolgellau as winners in class W4, a fantastic 16th overall in the interclub event as well as Sasha topping the female competitor leaderboard.
‘We are delighted with the result. The pace today far exceeds our expectation, it’s an honour to drive such a well built and developed car. It’s a dream come true for me, rallying at this level is something I have always aspired to do and it just shows, hard work and dedication can get you there!’
The team now faces a battle against time (and budget!) ahead of the next round of the championship, the Rallynuts Stages based in Builth Wells on 9th April. A new clutch and flywheel will be sourced for the car as well as the general repreparation after a gruelling event.
As always Matthew & Sasha would like to thank all of the organisers and marshals from the event, the team at C1-R for effortlessly running the car as well as Carbon Positive Motorsport for the support and generating a positive environmental effect based off our fuel usage from the event.