Stephen Petch Junior persevered on last weekends Swansea Bay Rally, overcoming all sorts of issues and problems, including a broken track control arm, to eventually finish the 65 mile long event sixteenth overall, but more importantly fourth in class.
Stephen, co-driven as always by Michael Wilkinson, was reunited with his Hyundai Accent World Rally Car a week after contesting the Greystokes Stages at the wheel of a Group N Mitsubishi Evo 9. And for the second week in succession Stephen, who was expected to challenge for class honours, suffered a cruel hand of luck.
After struggling through the opening two stages with a mysterious handling problem it all became clear when the track control arm suddenly broke half way through stage 3. Stephen did his best to limit the time loss as he nursed the wounded Accent out of the stage and into service, but an agonising 5 minutes had been lost.
Once repairs had been administered by the SG Petch Motorsport team, Stephen and Michael returned to the woods for a bit of damage limitation. A string of top 3 in class times through the afternoon showed what might have been.
“I’m getting a bit frustrated with all this bad luck that always seems to come my way. I haven’t had a clean run in so long that I’ve forgotten what it’s like. When the car goes well she is amazing to drive, so I just have to hope that we have a good end to the season
Incredibly Stephen is still in the thick of the class battle, currently lying second overall in B13, sandwiched between Marcus Dodd and Andy Burton.
The next outing for the young County Durham rally driver is expected to be the Bulldog Rally in October.