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Spencer Sport proves pace of R5 specification Mitsubishi on Wales Rally GB National

15th November 2015

To provide a true test of performance, Spencer Sport entered two R5 specification Mitsubishis in the Wales Rally GB National, an event that runs alongside the final round of the World Rally Championship. Consequently, as well as test the competitiveness of the car at national level, comparisons could be made against similar specification cars that were contesting the same stages in the international event.

Swedish crew Martin Berglund and co-driver Joakim Gervert were joined by Welsh crew Jamie Jukes and Dave Williams, who debuted the very first right-hand-drive version of the Mitsubishi and what is believed to be the only right-hand-drive R5 specification car that is currently commercially available.

Based at Deeside near Chester, the national event was run over three-days from 13th to 15th November and featured 11-special stages: three on Friday, five on Saturday and three on Sunday. The first leg took crews to mid-Wales and, whilst Jamie and Dave had a good run to end the day in fourth place, Martin and Joakim pulled out  when after the second stage when a turbo pipe split. By missing the third stage a penalty was applied, which meant they were to start day two ten-minutes behind the leader and in 67th place.

On Saturday and, with the car back to 100%, Martin and Joakim proved the pace of the Mitsubishi by setting the fastest time on three of the day’s five stages in North Wales. In what could only be described as biblically wet conditions they won the 25.86-mile run through Dyfi by 35-seconds - their task not helped by a regularly misting windscreen. For Jamie and Dave however, their second day was to end prematurely when the propshaft bearing was damaged and they were forced to stop in the second of the day’s stages.

The weather was no better for the two forest stages on Sunday, with torrential rain making the gravel roads even more slippery than before. Confident with the handling and traction of the Mitsubishi, Martin set the fastest time on both forest runs and was second fastest on the dry asphalt around the Great Orme that punctuated the two gravel stages.

Impressively, the time sheets showed the Swedish pairing had gone 16.2 seconds faster than anyone else over the relatively short 6.61-miles of the final stage in Brenig Forest.

For Jamie and Dave, it was another excellent start to the day, but a turbo issue on the Great Orme and a tree stump removing a rear wheel in the final stage, meant they were unable to continue, whereas Martin and Joakim crossed the finish line at Deeside in seventh.

Overall, the Spencer Sport team was satisfied that the performance of the two Mitsubishis had surpassed their expectations, as team manager Charlie Jukes explains: “The stage times showed that the car is capable of winning a national event and potentially can match the pace of other cars in its equivalent international class. We know there is still a little more development work to do, but with such positive feedback from the drivers - who tell us that the cars are fantastic to drive - we know that everything will be in place and ready to go well before the start of the 2016 season.”