County Durham based Stephen Petch Junior struggled with a series of punctures on last weekends Swansea Bay Rally but eventually recovered to finish 5th in the Evo Challenge in his SG Petch Motorsport run Evo 9 and in doing so moved up to tie for third in the championship standings.
Stephens’s day did not get off to the greatest of starts when he picked up a puncture on the very first stage, dropping a load of time. Things worsened when he then picked up another flat tyre on the very next stage, dropping him way down the order to 19th position. Stephen also didn’t help the cause with a time consuming overshoot on the third stage, ending up in a narrow track which took a lot of time to turn the car around.
The afternoon improved as Stephen went on to set a pair of top 5 times on the final two stages of the day and eventually returned to the finish fifth in class and 13th overall.
A perplexed Steven said: “I don’t understand the two punctures. It really messed up my rhythm and then I made things worse with the overshoot in the third stage. It took forever to turn the car around and we dropped so much time. The car was brilliant today but the conditions were really horrible, so wet and changeable.”
Next up for Stephen and co-driver Michael Wilkinson is the Ulster Rally in Ireland. Based in Armagh the Ulster Rally takes place from the 31st August to the 1st of September.