Yet another retirement...
Young County Durham driver Stephen Petch Junior endured yet another run of bad luck on the final round of the 2006 ANCRO rally championship when his SG Petch Motorsport run Mitsubishi Evo IX blew its centre differential on the start line of the
very first stage of the Bulldog Rally.
“I just can't believe it. Yet another retirement! This year has not been a good one and to be quite honest I'm just glad it's over now!”
In a year when Stephen has either finished on the podium or retired due to problems of one sort or another, his troubled run continued when differential problems on the start line of the opening 8 mile run through Dyfnant saw the Sun, AVit tools and Virgin money supported Mitsubishi rendered almost undriveable. Despite this Stephen still avoided hitting anything in the slippery tree lined stage and slowly limped out before retiring the car before Stage 2.
“With a broken diff the car was virtually undriveable and snapped from understeer to over steer with absolutely no warning! I'm gutted because I was hoping to have a bit of a race with my Dad.”
Despite this non score some strong runs earlier in the year have assured Stephen of 2nd overall in the Mitsubishi Cup.
By contrast his father, Steve Senior, had a solid day out in the forests. Having come out of retirement as a tribute to John Trevethick, the retiring clerk of course for the Bulldog Rally, Steve gradually got to grips with his Group N Subaru Impreza.
Improving all day long Steve moved up the leader board on nearly every stage, eventually finishing 12 in class after 6 very slippery and tricky stages.
The team will now begin preparations for the final round of the 2006 British Rally Championship, the International Wales Rally GB. Stephen Petch Junior is still hopeful of raising the budget needed to contest this event in a Hyundai World Rally Car. Having finished on the podium both times he has competed in a World Rally Car Stephen is confident of a good run, but it all depends on whether he can raise the necessary budget before entries close.