Lost In Time! Fantastic Maiden Junior British Rally Championship Victory for Kyle & Sean
Kyle White Eventually Declared the Winner on Junior British Rally Championship
Round Three- Nicky Grist Stages
It’s almost a month since Kyle White and Sean Topping, finished the Nicky Grist Stages Rally on the 9th July, and only now can the team celebrate their magnificent maiden Junior BRC category win. On stage times the Peugeot 208 Rally 4 crew were the winners but administrative errors during the event, meant that both Kyle and Sean, instead of celebrating their first JBRC victory, had to disconsolately sit and watch their main championship rivals spray the champagne at the finish ramp. It was a long trip back from Wales that weekend for the team, and a long wait for the final outcome, but now that it has been rectified it leaves them very much back in the fight for the Junior BRC title, and that Hyundai i20 prize drive on offer.
“It’s been an interesting few-weeks!” said 26-year-old Kyle speaking from the family garage business in Dunmurry, County Antrim. “On the Nicky Grist, we had a great run to start, really getting the feel of the Rally 4 car in the forests. We were a little cautious on the first stage, but took the lead on the second stage, and held a small advantage going into the fourth Crychan test. I felt confident with the car and we had a real go.” On this one Kyle and Sean put the hammer down, and actually caught a MK2 Escort that was running ahead of them in the road, the 208 stopping the clocks with a superb 10 minutes 19 second’s time. However a previous competitor had ran wide and hit the link wire between the stage finish and stop control, and an incorrect time was allocated to the crew. This was soon corrected when queried by co-driver Sean Topping with the organisers at the service area following the stage, and the crew now had a 16.4 second advantage over Eamonn Kelly. Other teams running around Kyle were also getting their times amended, and it was in this process that errors appeared to manifest. At one point Kyle’s – time was changed to 10.16, and the service crew his father Gary and Alan Purdy got it amended back to the correct 10.19, but that wasn’t to be the end of the debacle.
On the fifth test Kyle and Sean extended their lead by another second. “We were really pleased with the car, and it says a lot that we only made very minor adjustments to the set up during the day. It’s only going to get better I feel the more I can get used to the new car the faster we can be.” On the sixth stage another 0.6 of a second was gained, the gap now 18.2 second or so they thought! “Somewhere around this point Sean was looking up the times and our stage four time had been changed online again to 10 minutes 32, which was totally incorrect and costing us over twelve seconds. It was a bit annoying that we would have to sort it out again, and then our fortunes took another twist on the final two stages!”
Literally it was a deflation on the penultimate stage, a puncture as the tyre tread decreased on their Michelin’s which dropped them two seconds. Worse was to follow on the final stage. “The tyres wore down to the wire on the last stage and we had to drive three miles on punctured front tyres, and we lost over thirteen seconds to Eamonn there.” It still should have given the team a narrow three second victory in the Junior BRC, but it was an exhausted crew who arrived at the finish to be informed that they had finished second.
“That was a more major deflation, but since the event concluded the Clerk of the Course and Motorsport UK have worked to right the situation and have reinstated us as the rightful winners. The importance is that the maximum score now puts us just eight points behind Eamonn Kelly, and we still have our joker to play for added points, so it livens up the title race.”
A tarmac outing was undertaken on the Down Rally on 23rd July in the 208, and some excellent stage times were coupled with a brake issue that they have now resolved, all valuable testing before the fifth tarmac round in Wales. The focus now is for round four, on Scottish gravel for the Grampian Stages on 13th August.
Once again, the team are grateful for the current assistance from Gary White Car Sales, L.A Distribution, Finaghy Cleaning Services, Jetvent Limited, Michelin, Race and Rally and Peugeot Sport.
“I am really looking forward to the Grampian Rally, wen enjoyed the terrain last year, and delighted we have got our first win under our belt in Wales. Hopefully we have more to come. Thanks again to everyone who supports us and particularly to my dad and Alan who are our valuable service crew.”
Motorsport UK Junior British Rally Championship Calendar 2022
Round Dates Event Rally HQ Surface
1 23/24 April Rally Tendring & Clacton Clacton Tarmac
2 27/28 May Jim Clark Rally Duns Tarmac
3 9 July Nicky Grist Stages Builth Wells Gravel
4 13 August Grampian Forest Stages Banchory Gravel
5 3/4 September Rali Bae Ceredigion Aberystwyth Tarmac
6 23/24 September Trackrod Rally Yorkshire Filey Gravel
7 29 October Cambrian Rally Llandudno Gravel
Reserve 5 November Oulton Park Stages Oulton Park Tarmac
Issued by ABP. Copyright free images thanks to Jacob Ebrey/BRC Media