South Downs Stages Rally

A quick report on the Southdowns stages rally 2017 at the famous Goodwood motor racing circuit. A drive up to Chichester on Friday to be ready for a very early start on Saturday morning. The weather forecast looked cold and variable and as it turned out this was not to far off! The temperature did not get above 2degrees all day and add in a windchill and very little coverage made for a very cold day. As there was some wetness on the track the choice of tyres was not clear but we choose to go with the rally slicks in the softest compound we had. The Clio we compete with used to be a Clio Cup race car and part of the support races to the BTCC but had been converted to R3 rally spec with access parts direct from Renaultsport. As we lined up for the start of stage 1 we started to notice some snow flakes but luckily they did not settle but it did continue with this scattering of snow for most of the day making track conditions difficult to predict.

The tricky track conditions continued all day resulting in a couple of excursions through some cones but luckily leading to no damage to the car and only a handful of lost seconds.

The last stage was in the dark and a first for me and made navigating and finding reference points very difficult. At least the marshals hi-viz clothing reflected the lights giving some form of warning of approaching hazards.

A good event to start the year off and our thanks go out to the marshals and organizers of the rally.

Nathan Prisk