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Whickham and District Motor Club Limited

Taylor Tames Tarmac In Borders Battle

The Culina Palletforce Racing team sealed a solid result on the Jim Clark Rally after Peter Taylor and Andrew Roughead finished eighth overall on the second round of the MSA British Rally Championship in the Scottish Borders today.

However, after setting a blistering pace last night, the team’s second driver John MacCrone was denied a chance to push for overall victory after a broken front suspension link forced him into retirement after stage 11 this afternoon.

Both drivers lined up at the event with limited experience of their Citroen DS3 rally cars on Tarmac. MSA Team UK driver MacCrone got into the swing of things by taking Tom Onslow-Cole, his Team UK Performance Manager and British Touring Car star, for a high-speed ride on the shakedown.

Peter Taylor & Andrew Roughead

Borders Battle 01

But, when the action started for real, MacCrone and co-driver Phil Pugh tore up the Tarmac and set the stages alight to go second fastest on the first three stages and quickest overall on stage four.
They settled into second place and were locked in a battle with series leader Jukka Korhonen when overheating brakes caused Isle of Mull driver MacCrone to slid wide into a kerb close to the end of the 16-mile Abbey St Bathans test. The incident damaged a rear suspension beam and he dropped back to eighth by the overnight halt.

Once the action restarted this morning, 23-year-old MacCrone was back on the pace. But, on stage nine, the Palletforce-backed DS3 was forced to limp through with handling problems. The issue was later traced to a broken suspension link which was most likely damaged on one of the event’s high speed jumps. He retired as the part couldn’t be replaced at the remote service.

 

Top Times

Taylor’s rally was much more positive as he improved over the course of the event and increasingly got to grips with the car. He set a string of top times over the second half of the rally and was pleased with his boost in performance.

Taylor found his pace-notes were working well on the country roads around Duns and Kelso, and by the end of the 14-stage event had upped his pace and sailed into eighth place.

While it’s a disappointment to have only one car finish the event, the team is happy with how the speed and performance of both its crews is progressing and is looking forward to round three when the series returns to gravel for the RSAC Scottish Rally in Dumfries on 28-29 June.

BTCC star Tom Onslow-Cole & John MacCrone

Borders Battle 02

Peter Taylor, Culina Palletforce Racing driver, said: “Overall we were happy with how things worked out over the weekend. I’m still starting rallies a little too slowly but towards the end of today it felt really good and everything was working well. The speed is getting better on every rally and this was still only my second event with this car on Tarmac. If we can lift the performance from the last stage today and take it to start the Scottish, then it will a positive step forward.”

John MacCrone, Culina Palletforce Racing driver, said: “This weekend has been full of highs and lows, there’s no denying that. To be setting top times and challenging for the lead was extremely encouraging but obviously retiring from the rally means we don’t have a result to show for it. I’m really happy with Phil and my pace-notes are great, getting better every rally, so we just need to concentrate on the next event and coming away with a result.”

Report Courtesy of Culina Palletforce

Culina Palletforce

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