Jukka Korhonen continued his perfect start to the 2013 MSA British Rally Championship with a hard-fought victory in Round Two of the year, the Jim Clark Rally.
Following on from their success on the season-opening Pirelli RBF, Korhonen and co-driver Marko Salminen reigned supreme on the Scottish tarmac to make it two wins from two this season, despite the event being only the Finn’s third ever tarmac rally.
Korhonen belied his lack of tarmac experience to stamp his authority from the off, taking five stage wins from six on the opening day to hold a thirty-eight second lead overnight. Day two didn’t start to plan for the Finn though, with a spin on stage eight dropping him within the grasp of the chasing pack, led by Tom Cave.
Stage wins on the opening two tests of the day moved Cave to within ten seconds of the leader, and he continued to close the gap over the next handful of stages, meaning that heading into the penultimate stage of the rally, the gap between the top two was just one tenth of a second.
A measured drive over the final two stages from Korhonen ensured him the win, with Cave having to settle for second two seconds back, matching his finish on the event last season.
“Very Pleased,” said Korhonen. “My first tarmac win and only third tarmac rally. Very pleased with the result and a good two days; Ups and downs, but we managed to do the win. A perfect rally.”
It was John MacCrone who had emerged as Korhonen’s main rival at the start of the opening day, the Scotsman setting the fastest time on SS4 to stay within eight seconds of the leader. His charge was halted on the next two stages though, when severe problems with brake fade cost him over a minute and a half, dropping him to eighth.
This promoted Alastair Fisher into second spot at the end of day one, but he was soon overhauled by the fast-starting Cave. As Cave closed down the leader, Fisher become embroiled in a battle with a different Welshman, Osian Pryce.
Pryce sneaked ahead after SS9 and went on to cement his place with stage wins on SS12 and 13, his third top three finish in the last four BRC events. Fisher meanwhile maintained fourth, cementing his good start to the season after taking second on the Pirelli RBF.
Jonny Greer and 2012 Pirelli Star Driver Mark Donnelly completed the top six, making it a clean sweep of Citroen DS3 R3’s in the top six. Seventh overall were RallyTwo winners Daniel McKenna, the Irishman taking the class win after long-time leaders Garry Pearson retired following contact with a tree. The performance earned McKenna the second Pirelli Star Driver nomination of the season.
Provisional Jim Clark Rally Provisional Results:
|Position||Driver||Co-Driver||Car||Total Time||Diff. Leader|
|1||Jukka Korhonen||Marko Salminen||Citroen DS3 R3||1:34:53.7|
|2||Tom Cave||Ieuan Thomas||Citroen DS3 R3||1:34:55.7||+ 0:00:02.0|
|3||Osian Pryce||Dale Furniss||Citroen DS3 R3||1:35:07.5||+ 0:00:13.8|
|4||Alastair Fisher||Gordon Noble||Citroen DS3 R3||1:35:20.9||+ 0:00:27.2|
|5||Jonny Greer||Jonny Hart||Citroen DS3 R3||1:35:45.6||+ 0:00:51.9|
|6||Mark Donnelly||Dai Roberts||Citroen DS3 R3||1:37:11.0||+ 0:02:17.3|