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Andrew Keighley and his Fiesta S2000 limped home to finish the Quality Hotel Plymouth Taranaki Tarmac Rally. Despite finishing the last stage in the second slowest time the finish allowed the Team to continue their points tally in the STILO Top Half Rally Series.
Keighley received a final classification of 14th position, despite running in the top 10 during the majority of the day. This result placed them 4th in their class.
Early in the day the Fiesta performed well. “The brakes were amazing” said Keighley but he felt they lost time by not attacking the crests. Early stages were very smooth and very fast, but very challenging. By the end of SS5, 13 competitors had withdrawn.
On the exit of a bridge during SS6 the Fiesta under steered and Keighley and Co Driver Jonathan Kane hit a curb. “Initially the Fiesta seemed unaffected by the knock as the steering wasn’t pulling and seemed to track nicely down the road” said Keighley “It wasn’t till SS8 when I found the steering wheel wasn’t sitting straight and the Fiesta began to find its own way down the roads. There were three massive jumps in this stage and I had no confidence in the Fiesta, and drove with caution getting to the end of the stage”
At the end of this stage Keighley and Kane had a good look under the car, and found the Compression Strut, had torn the top plate off the sub frame and the arm was moving freely. “We had to make a decision quickly” commented Kane “We took one of Britek’s finest machined C spanners, we carry that is normally used to make small suspension adjustments on the side of the road and clamped the arms rose joint to the sub frame” This ingenuity got the Fiesta mobile and they toured to the start of the next stage.
Despite the speed of the repair the Keighley was penalised 10 seconds for arriving at the final stage one minute late. “With the temporary repair keeping us going it was a long slow stage for the Fiesta. At 16 kilometers we did wish for shorter but it was far shorter than those early in the day” commented Keighley. The repair only just got the team home, “We toured back to the finish and honestly drove over the finish stage out of the car park across the road and the repair gave up”
The Team now turns their attention to the International Rally of Whangarei. This event is part of the Asia Pacific Rally, and is a very high profile rally. For Keighley and Kane is round three of the STILO Top Half Rally Series. “We are really looking forward to heading north to the fabulous flowing roads of the Whangarei and Kaipara regions” commented Kane.
For more information please visit www.fiesta-s2000.com
Keighley ingenuity gets Fiesta home in Taranaki 21 June 2010