|CREDIT: Matthew Wright (Added by Team Ford Fiesta S2000) - 362 views, 0 comments||ID: 9311|
Andrew Keighley and his Fiesta S2000 Rally team head to Taranaki this week as they prepare to compete in the second round of the STILO Top Half Rally Series.
The Quality Hotel Plymouth Taranaki Tarmac Rally, and is acclaimed as NZ’s Premier Tarmac Rally. Made up of 9 stages, and held over one day, this is a very challenging rally throughout the entire 193 kilometers.
Four stages have been retained from last year, with a couple of these being reversed. The event organisers have also incorporated some older stages to spice things up. This includes the famous railway jump being brought back. There are four long stages in the morning 30km, 20km 33km and 29km, with the afternoon containing shorter but still challenging stages.
Keighley and co driver Jonathan Kane spent last Sunday at Pukekohe Raceway. The day on a race track allowed the team to play with set up changes, scrub new tyres, and bed in brakes. “Tarmac is very different to race on as the greater adhesion of the tarmac means you carry a greater amount of speed” said Keighley. The experience of the tarmac of Hampton Downs during the Possum Bourne Rally and the day at Pukekohe Raceway has allowed the team to gain greater experience and confidence as they continue to learn the new car.
In preparation for the Rally, Keighley has had a preventative maintenance program in place, and the Ford Fiesta has received new 18’ Braid Tarmac wheels for the event. The new rims and tyres allow the Fiesta to comply with the FIA S2000 regulations for Tarmac Rallies. Adjustments to the Fiesta S2000 for the Taranaki Tarmac Rally include a movement in brake bias and a tightening of the sway bars. “The adjustment in the sway bars will make the Fiesta more even into the corners, but we must be mindful these roads are not as smooth as the Autobahn” Keighley commented.
Keighley and Kane are very positive about their prospects for this weekend. It has been three years since the pairing have participated Taranaki Tarmac Rally. Both have very fond memories of the event. Andrew Keighley comments “It is a lovely part of the world and the Taranaki community really gets in behind this event”