CA1 Sport mastered the mixed conditions of the Nicky Grist Stages to have three out of the four cars finish in the top eleven.
Despite the conditions in Wales being extremely difficult for the teams and crews to master, it didn’t stop David Bogie from being the lead CA1 Sport car to finish in a strong fourth place.
The Scot had to suffer with a broken intercooler pipe on SS3, which meant he had to finish the stage slowly in his ŠKODA Fabia R5 on Saturday, as well as being delayed by a slower car the next day on Sunday.
Tom Preston was the next of the CA1 Sport cars to finish in the top eleven positions in tenth. The Lancastrian had felt unwell before the Nicky Grist Stages had started, which meant he had missed the pre-race test. It was a consistent performance from the thirty-five year-old who had his first top ten finish in the BRC with the ŠKODA Fabia R5.
Alex Laffey was the last of the CA1 Sport cars to finish in the top eleven in eleventh place. However, the last three stages were cancelled, which meant that the twenty-six-year old driver from Carnoustie was eleventh in his Ford Fiesta R5. Fredrik Åhlin completed the last of the crews in thirtieth place.
Bogie said post-Wales “It wasn’t the result we were hoping for, but we were very pleased with our pace, especially in the wet on the tarmac. The problem on day one was self-inflicted – we landed off-line after a jump and burst the intercooler pipe. We lost a lot of time and dropped from second to seventh, which was obviously disappointing. We fought back well, but on day two we lost time on two stages caught behind slower cars. But our pace was good, and whilst the championship might be over for us this year, the plan is to win every rally next year!”
Preston was delighted with his top-ten finish at the Nicky Grist Stages, saying “We had a good run on the gravel, setting some half decent times. Our only problem coming right at the end when we hit a very big rock in the middle of the road and bent the suspension and broke a rim.
“Despite this, we set some really good times – in fact, the first five stages on day two went very well. We could have gone quicker, but we didn’t want to throw the car off the road and waste the opportunity of gaining experience of it on Tarmac, and we’re delighted to have come home with a top ten finish.”
Laffey added “Everything has gone really well. The plan was always to do the best we could on gravel and recover as much time as possible on the tarmac. The weather conditions made Epynt as treacherous as it can be, but we were setting times comparable to Elfyn Evans – and we’re very pleased about that, because Elfyn has shown how fast he is against the world’s best drivers in the WRC. If the last three stages hadn’t been cancelled, I’m confident we’d have scored a top ten result.”