Woodpecker win seals class championship!
Matthew Jackson & Sasha Heriot have been confirmed as class champions in the Motorsport UK Pirelli Ravenol Welsh Rally Championship after a class win on the Phil Price Memorial Woodpecker Rally.
Starting 2nd in the R2 class on the road, Matthew & Sasha were hoping to put right the technical issues that hindered their performance on July’s Nicky Grist Stages.
Speaking ahead of the event. Matthew commented: ‘We’re looking forward to getting back in the car after the disappointing end to the Nicky Grist. In the 2 month gap, we’ve sourced and fitted a number of new components to get the car back to full health. Unfortunately that has meant we haven’t sat in the car since, so let’s hope it doesn’t take long to get back in the groove!’.
170 competition cars left the ceremonial start in Ludlow Racecourse heading West to tackle 45 very fast, but technical forest stages. With an unsettled forecast and showers looming, a safe tyre choice was taken by the Carbon Positive Motorsport supported crew
Image credit: Paul Mitchell
Returning to the midday service after the first loop of stages, Matthew & Sasha held 2nd in class, the pair not having the best run over the mornings stages:
‘This morning has been okay. We are here and in one piece which is an achievement in itself, there’s lots of other competitors lining the stages out there! That being said, we have been too cautious this morning, it’s taken longer than expected to get the feeling back after a 2 month break. The plan for the afternoon is to up the pace and aim for that 1st in class position!’
After a thorough check over by C1-R Motorsport team, the Ford Fiesta R2T pairing headed back out to the repeated loop of 3 stages with an increase in confidence and determination. With the new found pace and some misfortunate for one of their rivals, Matthew & Sasha moved into the class lead on the penultimate stage where they would remain to the end of the event. The final victory margin being 19 seconds over their nearest rival.
‘We are over the moon with the result. We were back in form this afternoon, back to driving how I know I can and that showing in the 2 fastest stage times. I just absolutely love driving this car, over these stages, nothing beats that feeling when everything comes together. To seal the class championship here is the icing on the cake!’
With 4 class wins from 5 events, Matthew & Sasha have been confirmed as the W4 (R2) class champions in the Welsh Championship. A fine achievement in their first season in the new car.
The team will now review the points tables and assess the plan for the remainder of the year. Matthew still leads the 2WD & Front wheel driver categories overall in the Welsh Championship also with 2 rounds left to go, although only a small improvement on points can be made due to dropped scores in the championship.
Matthew & Sasha would like to thank all the marshals, volunteers & organisers for a great Woodpecker Rally as well as the following for all their support so far this year, without whom, none of the successes would be possible:
Carbon Positive Motorsport
Mr Tyre Motorsport
Demon Tweeks Motorsport
And of course, all friends & family for their on-going support