Mike Faulkner raves away on Mewla National Rally

28.08.2006: Mike Faulkner raves away on Mewla National Rally

Mike Faulkner took a well deserved and popular victory on the sixth round of the Fiesta SportingTrophy UK (FST UK) championship, the Eventsigns Mewla National Rally.

The event may have been disrupted by an illegal rave and the discovery of an unexploded bomb, but neither factor was able to prevent seventeen Fiesta STs from dancing their way across the tarmac of the Epynt military ranges for Faulkner’s victory, making him the fifth driver to win in the inaugural season.

The event, the sixth in the eight round VK Vodka Kick supported championship, was hotly contested over the 12 stages with fastest Fiesta times set by five of the competitors. Times were often matched on the stages too, an illustration of just how close it was.

The event comprised of five loops and Welshman Kevin Davies set the early running to end the first as fastest Fiesta ST. Davies later struck a sign and suffered a puncture, but finished in a fine fifth place, 4.1s ahead of Owen Murphy. Whilst Davies was fastest on the first loop, rival Tom Walster was out of the running, after a gearbox seal allowed oil to contaminate his clutch on the opening stage.

The second loop saw Simon Hughes move into the lead. Hughes suffered a puncture on the first loop and was to suffer another on the event’s final stage, which dropped him to third overall in the standings. Over the course of the event Hughes would set five fastest stage times, winning him the Castrol Hard Charger award and the £120 prize of product that goes with it.

Loop three saw Mike Faulkner take over at the head of the Fiesta field, a lead he would maintain for the rest of the event, although there was plenty of movement and action behind him. It is a mark of the level of Faulkner’s luck previously this season that despite setting fastest stage times, his ten points from this win are the first he has scored.

Double event winning Chris Moore was the driver to benefit from Simon Hughes’ late puncture and snatched second place at the end. It was a relatively clean run for Moore. He stayed flat out in fourth and didn’t realise he had a further gear to play with and got stuck behind a rival on the penultimate stage to the extent he broke his horn trying to warn the other driver of his presence. Moore takes the championship lead with his second place, tying on points with second placed George Thomas.

From Wales the Fiesta SportingTrophy UK moves to Scotland for the Park Systems Rally on the 9th of September.

Driver quotes

#44 Mike Faulkner The win is due to all the hard work we’ve put in over the year. We only put in our entry for this event at the last minute. We’ve had the pace at every event this season, setting fastest stage times, but our luck has been garbage until now. This win makes all that hard work worth it. We had a ten second penalty after we made a mistake on the times and if anything that really fired us up for it.

#37 Chris Moore The result is perfect for us for points and for the championship too. We were happy to settle for third place and were stuck behind a Darian on the penultimate stage and then back off on the final stage as we didn’t realise Simon Hughes had a puncture so second is a real bonus. It wasn’t a perfect run, we stayed on the rev limiter for about 20 seconds the first time through the long stage before I looked down and realised I was in fourth! The next time I was in fifth, I checked about 17 times.

#40 Simon Hughes We had a puncture on the last loop and the tyre ripped the brake pipe out meaning we had to run for about three miles with next to no brakes. The competition here was brilliant, it was really good fun. We had a puncture at the end of SS2 at the start of the day so it was quite a rush to get it all sorted for the long stage on the first time through which made it a bit hectic.

#36 George Thomas We took it easy on the first loop and then we had a puncture on the next one so that was a cracking start to the day! We then lost the power steering which made it very difficult on the twisty bits. You get so much feedback without the assistance and you need two hands, which makes handbraking difficult. Once we had the steering fixed it was far better but we settled for fourth after an eventful day!

#38 Kevin Davies It was a good day for us, we were running well. We clipped a sign on the fourth stage and got a puncture on the next one which put us back down the order. We tried to keep it neat and tidy, sort the tyres and we had a good battle with Owen Murphy.

Overall FST UK from the Eventsigns Mewla National Rally

1 Mike Faulkner 1h 22m 27.0s

2 Chris Moore 1h 22m 55.3s

3 Simon Hughes 1h 23m 17.3s

4 George Thomas 1h 23m 23.7s

5 Kevin Davies 1h 23m 53.8s

6 Owen Murphy 1h 23m 58.0s

7 Dan Taylor 1h 25m 10.8s

8 Adam Gould 1h 25m 12.5s

9 Richard Archer 1h 26m 04.7s

10 Richard Parry-Jones 1h 26m 15.7s

Championship positions

1 Chris Moore 33

2 George Thomas 33

3 Kevin Davies 25

4 Simon Hughes 24

5 Owen Murphy 22

6 Tom Walster 14

7 Jonathan Greer 13

8 Dan Taylor 11

9 Mike Faulkner 10

10 Colin Greer 10

 

- Andy Stobart -

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28.08.2006 / MaP

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