With a disappointing seeding of 48 from 55 entries, they proved the organisers seeding wrong and ended the event in an excellent 14 th overall and picking up an award for 3 rd in the 1600cc class.
The Bexhill lads had only used their Group A Peugeot 206 Cup Car ‘in anger' once before, on the Swansea Bay Rally in July in torrential rain. Whilst the weather was cold over the weekend for the Aldershot based Tempest rally, the rain stayed away and allowed all the crews to go flat out over the military and forestry gravel roads.
Andrew remarked: “The whole event was better for us than Swansea in July, we've thoroughly blown away the cobwebs now. Danny was bang on with the pacenotes and I felt far more confident with the car; we could really push when we wanted to. I've still some work to do when braking from very high speed on the gravel but we're nearly there.”
The APCsport team suffered a major setback in the first special stage when they caught the car in front of them just two miles into the run. In rallying the cars leave the line at one minute intervals and compete against the clock. If you are caught by the following car it is generally good manners to move over, but the driver of the car the Bexhill crew caught failed to see their Peugeot 206 in his mirrors, forcing Andrew into a difficult and dangerous overtaking manoeuvre on the narrow gravel roads.
Dan Pearce commented: “The winner of our class was only 25 seconds ahead at the end of the rally and having checked the times we lost around 15 seconds when we caught the car on the first stage. That means we only really lost 10 seconds over 45 miles of competition. With some more time in the car I think we can close the gap to the class leaders.”
The highlight of the day came on the final stage of the event, a seven mile blast held in total darkness on the gravel roads in the forests surrounding the Longmoor military range, when Andrew and Dan set the 10 th fastest time overall on the event. This followed the lads setting a fastest time in the 1600 class, which comprised of 12 cars, earlier on in the day.
Andrew said: “The run in the dark was amazing; it was our first night stage in the forest and it all feels mega fast at night. We use a lamp pod on the car for night stages and the light it produces is fantastic, but when the car goes sideways all you see in the lights are trees going by at ridiculous speed! I'm very pleased we were so fast in a tricky night stage and over the whole event.”
Andrew and Dan would particularly like to thank APCsport technicians Ian Mepham and Ross Stevens for their invaluable help in preparing and servicing the car for the Tempest Rally. APCsport's Peugeot 206 Cup Car is now off to the workshop for a winter refresh!