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BRITISH RALLY CHAMPIONSHIP 2002, Round One Review.
After a very close battle in the Group N showroom class, with second to fourth separated by just nine seconds. Bridgend rally driver, Leon Pesticcio came away from Round One of the British Rally Championship in Gateshead, satisfied with his result.
“We came here using a new pacenote system, and in effect spent most of Saturday making adjustments to the notes and getting used to them. We then were able to push a little harder on the Sunday. Our main objective for the rally was to be at the finish if we achieved a good result, that would be a bonus.”
Partnered by Machylleth co-driver, Howard Davies in their YOKOHAMA/ CO-ORDSPORT Mitsubishi Lancer Evolution VII. The Welsh rallying duo claimed fourth in their class and a fine Eighth overall in what was effectively the inaugural competition debut of the new car.
The Mitsubishi certainly lived up to expectations throughout the demanding event, with only minor problems to trouble the Promax Motorsport technicians.
The 20-yr-old had thoroughly enjoyed his first taste of the British Rally Championship and the tough forestry complex of Kielder.
“During the low speed recce of the stages in Kielder, it’s tough reputation as Killer Kielder was hard to comprehend. When you go through there at high speed during the rally it was very clear why so many accidents happen. The corners are deceptive, the straight’s are very fast. It is very hard to drive flat out through the forest without encountering a moment or two.”
One such moment occurred on SS10 with a heavy landing over a crest dislodging the tail end of the exhaust, which was quickly rectified at service in Hexham.
The whole team had enjoyed round one of what could be the toughest class of the British Rally Championship.
Leon and Howard now look forward to competing on home soil with Round Two of the Championship, The Rally of Wales based in Wrexham. Utilising the forestry commission land of Mid Wales.
“We will certainly be in more familiar surrounding on round two. Having competed in the forests and now having sorted a pacenote system that suits us. We hope to go well on our home event.”