Disappointing end to Bulgaria rally for Harry Hunt

Disappointing end to Bulgaria rally for Harry Hunt

30.09.2012: The Mabanol Sliven Rally in Bulgaria didnĺt go to plan for up-and-coming British rally driver Harry Hunt




The Mabanol Sliven Rally in Bulgaria didn’t go to plan for up-and-coming British rally driver Harry Hunt, who came into the latest round of the Eurosport-backed Intercontinental Rally Challenge leading the two-wheel drive championship standings with his Citroen DS3 R3T.
 

Held on asphalt stages on mountain roads around Sliven, 300 kilometres east of Bulgaria’s capital, Sofia, the technically challenging route was dominated by local specialists with good knowledge of the specific demands of the stages.
 

Despite setting off at a class-leading pace, Harry got stuck on a bank during the opening day of the rally after he beached his car on a tricky right-hand corner during stage four. It was a minor incident caused by loose gravel on the road but it still cost Harry more than 12 minutes, as he had to jack the car up and reverse back onto the road, using all the ingenuity he could muster.
 

The chances of a top result were gone, but the 24-year-old staged a determined fightback before he had the biggest accident of his career on stage 11, with just two stages left to go.
 

“I don’t remember at all what happened: that’s how big the accident was,” said Harry. “We were pushing really hard to make up time and unfortunately these things can happen if you’re going for it. Accidents form part of the sport sometimes and the most important thing is that we all learn from this and come back even stronger.


I’d like to thank the Bulgarian organisers and medical staff who helped us after we crashed: they did a fantastic job. Now we’re looking forward to the rest of the season. We’ve lost our championship lead but there is still absolutely everything to play for and we’re determined to get it back.”
 

Both Harry and his co-driver Robbie Durant were taken to hospital in nearby Plovdiv. Harry sustained no injuries, but Robbie has a cracked and compressed vertebra that is likely to require surgery to stablise before the duo fly home later this week.
 

Harry’s iCars team manager Iwan Evans commented
: “This has obviously been a very disappointing experience for us but the most important thing is that Robbie’s injury was not more serious and that he will make a full recovery very soon. He’s in great spirits: we’ll stay with him until he’s ready to go home and we’re already looking forward to Sanremo, where Harry will drive a Super 2000 car on the IRC for the first time.


 I’d like to re-iterate what Harry said earlier: following the accident the rally and medical staff here were brilliant, so we can’t thank them enough. As for the championship this year, we’ve only got an 11-point deficit now – which is more than possible to make up.”
 

The Sanremo Rally in northern Italy takes place from 12-13 October.
 

Rachel Cavers-  also photo

Permanent-URL: http://www.automobilsport.com/irc-bulgaria-harry-hunt-citroen-ds3-r3t-sliven-rally---103675.html

30.09.2012 / MaP

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