Latest News  Fagg battles for fifth in Cumbria
Tuesday, March 14, 2017


Hunter and Fagg on route to fifth overall following a number of
battles throughout the event

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Saturday, September 12, 2015

Archive News

Photo courtesy of Andrew Shepherd (http://www.rallying-images.com/)
 

Isle of Man based rally co-driver Rob Fagg made a successful return and solid start to the Ravenol BTRDA Series last weekend as he tackled the Malcolm Wilson Stages alongside Ruthin driver Hugh Hunter. The pairing, contesting the main Gold Star category, finished the Cockermouth based event in fifth position overall in the R S Hunter Tarmac backed P&R Benn Ford Focus WRC02 and took third spot of the registered crews.

Despite being seeded at number 17 amongst a quality entry containing a number of former British, Scottish and BTRDA Champions, former event winner Hunter and JR Hinchliffe Plumbing and Heating-backed Fagg were confident that they could improve on this seeding and get their campaign off to a good start, despite Hunter having not the chance to test the car prior to the event and familiarise himself with his new stead.

It was an early start for the crews with the first car leaving Dovenby Hall, the home of the M-Sport Ford World Rally Team, at 7am with four stages in wait before the first service halt of the day. First up was the short 2.5 mile run through Hobcarton where Hunter and Fagg set the 9th quickest time, although only five seconds back from 3rd, the pair happy with their performance.

Tests through Comb (5 mile) and Wythop (3 mile) followed and with fifth and joint third quickest times respectively the pair moved up the leaderboard to sixth overall and fourth of the BTRDA crews. Their position would remain static following the 6 mile Greystoke stage as the crews arrived at service shortly after 9:30am, and while former British Champions Keith Cronin (Ford Fiesta R5) and David Bogie (Skoda Fabia R5) were in a battle of their own at the front, third to sixth were now separated by just 9 seconds.

Hunter and Robert Graham & Co Quantity Surveyors supported Fagg were happy with their early work as Rob explained.

“It’s been a strong start for us this morning so far, in an unfamiliar car Hugh has certainly been committed and showing more and more confidence with each mile we complete. Three tricky stages still lie in wait for us and anything can happen but we just can’t wait to get going again”.

As the crews arrived at the first of the two stages run in the Grizedale Forest Complex, it became obvious that fifth placed Euan Thorburn (Fiesta R5) had not arrived at the stage moving all crews behind up a positon. Then as the crews emerged from Grizedale there was another casualty as Desi Henry (Fabia R5) experienced issues and dropped down the order, leaving a three way battle for the final event podium spot. Hunter and Fagg’s performances had kept them in the battle which would also contain Jonny Greer (Citroen DS3 R5) and Dave Wright driving a similar Focus to that of Hunter.

With just one stage to go a gap of just eight seconds separated the three. Game on!

The final stage was a repeat, although just under a mile shorter, of the earlier Greystoke test, providing the battle ground for the final foray. While Greer dropped time to Wright, who proved the quickest, there was to be no change in the order. Greer held onto third, Wright fourth and Hunter and Burger Man Catering sponsored Fagg taking fifth as Bogie ran out the event winner and top BTRDA registered crew followed by Wright then Hunter/Fagg.

“We would have taken this result if we had been offered it at the start of the day, the quality of the entry will certainly be one of the best seen this year” commented Fagg, “Full credit to Hugh, he has driven with confidence today and with it being the first time out in this car it boasts well for the season ahead. Thanks to the P&R Benn team as well, they gave us a great car this weekend which ran faultlessly”.

The BTRDA battle resumes on the 8th April as the series moves to South East England and the Somerset Stages. Prior to that Rob travels in the opposite direction to Ireland for the Midland Moto Stages along fellow Manxmen Colin Quirk in the Pogo Loans Ford Fiesta Proto.

Rob is supported in 2017 by Robert Graham & Co Quantity Surveyors, JR Hinchliffe Plumbing and Heating, Burger Man Catering and Fastime Stopwatches (www.astopwatch.com)