Latest News  Another podium for Fagg in Canada
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Archive News

By Frederic Sentette
 

Isle of Man based rally co-driver Rob Fagg continued his run of podiums in the Canadian Rally Championship as he contested the third round of the series, Rallye Defi. Competing alongside former champion and Subaru Canada driver Pat Richard, the pairing took runners up spot on the Ste-Agathe, Quebec based event to maintain their position at the top of the championship standings.

Having taken victory on the opening round back in February and second in June, Pat and Robert Graham & Co Quantity Surveyors/A-dore Furniture supported Rob were looking to keep their championship challenge on target with another solid result. Following the issues with the car overheating last time out, a new engine had been built and fitted along with a rebuilt sequential gearbox unit and after some pre-event testing the team were very happy with the set-up coming into the latest round. 

Prior to the event starting on Friday, the Subaru Canada pairing undertook a gruelling stage reconnaissance which saw them leave the hotel at 5:30am and return at around 8pm with little or no break, but despite the long day they were happy with the pace notes.

Having been able to pick their road position, Richard chose to run first in case of any dust issues and with the majority of mileage for the day contained in the first four stages the event could be decided very early indeed. This was to be pretty much the case, as unbeknown to the Subaru pair on the way to the start of the first stage the cars diff controller had gone into a safety mode and made the car very loose to drive. This would result in a early deficit of over 30 seconds to main championship rival Antoine L’Estage and new co-driver Karl Atkinson in their Mitsubishi Lancer Evo X. 

The remainder of the opening day only contained five very short stages and no opportunity to claw back time, leaving Pat and Rob to change tactics and concentrate on ensuring they finished the event to keep their lead in the series, something no crew wants to do as they would rather battle for the win. As the day drew to a close they found themselves 51.8 seconds back in second with a reasonable cushion over third but there was still a further 11 stages to go tomorrow.

 

Day two would continue in much the same fashion as the previous for Pat and Rob, ensuring they kept out of trouble and reached the finish of the event and be close enough to take advantage of any trouble which might find rally leader L’Estage. He though would push hard on the opening two stages opening up his lead to 75 seconds a gap that would have increased slight by the end of the event despite Richard and Fagg taking fastest time over the last three stages as the crews remained in formation to finish first and second.

Although the result was not the win Pat and Rob had wanted it was a sensible drive after the early problems to remain in control of the championship.

“It’s a shame we lost so much time over the opening stages, we had no idea the diff controller had a issue but knew something was not right as the car was so loose” explained Rob. “Once we have rectified the issue there was not enough length in the stages to fight back and we had to drive for the championship, but for sure we will look to chase the win next time out”. 

The next round of the Canadian Rally Championship takes place at the start of October as crews contest the Pacific Forest Rally in Merritt, British Columbia.

Before then Rob will resume his Eurocars Motorsport Manx Rally Championship campaign alongside Lancashire’s Arron Newby in the TEG Sport Subaru Impreza as they contest the two and a half day Rally Isle of Man event.

Rob is supported in 2013 by Robert Graham & Co Quantity Surveyors, A-dore Furniture (www.a-dore.us), Nicky Grist Motorsport (www.nickygrist.com) and Fastime Stopwatches (www.astopwatch.com)