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R5 specification Mitsubishi gets closer to winning BRC National Rally Cup in Ulster

25th August 2016

Robert Blomberg and Lars Andersson scored their third consecutive win in the British Rally Championship National Rally Cup on the Ulster Rally, which took place on 19th & 20th August. The Swedish Mitsubishi crew now edge closer to winning the category title with one round left to go.

The two-day, 14-stage rally comprised three stages run twice on Friday afternoon and four stages run twice on Saturday, which combined covered a total of 134 competitive miles. For all crews, intermittent rain for the opening loop was to make tyre choice for the slippery roads a critical factor.

Using a face-lift version of the Mitsubishi, Blomberg and Andersson made a steady start in order to become acclimatised to the weather conditions. It was a strategy that worked and, although they had a few anxious moments, they held their nerve and held the lead throughout Saturday’s eight stages to record their third BRC National Rally Cup victory in a row.

Also driving a face-lift Mitsubishi on the Ulster Rally was former Irish Tarmac Rally Champion and three-times winner of this event Garry Jennings, who together with his regular co-driver Rory Kennedy, were entered in a Spencer Sport run car.

With a lot of public and media attention focused on them before the event, Jennings and Kennedy were eager to impress in what was the first outing for them in the Mitsubishi, but the difficult conditions were not the best way to discover the limits of an unfamiliar car. Whilst still learning the braking, power delivery and handling characteristics, matters were made even more challenging when turbo issues started to manifest themselves.

Once back in the service area after Friday’s six stages, Spencer Sport engineers investigated what had been causing the loss of boost, but being unable to rectify the problem meant the team had no choice but to reluctantly retire the car. Following the event, Garry Jennings said:

“I really enjoyed driving the Mitsubishi and learning what it is capable of. There’s so much more to come from the car. We were getting it set up for these types of roads when we retired, which was a real shame for the fans, as there’s a great deal of interest in the car. I’m sure we’ll see it back over here before too long as I hope to drive the Mirage again and continue working with the Spencer Sport team.”

Spencer Sport Team Manager Charlie Jukes responded by saying: “We took a lot of positives away from our Ulster Rally experience, putting aside the issue – which is now fixed - that stopped the Mirage from getting to the end of the event. The week before the rally we carried out nearly 300km of testing without any problems and Garry helped us a great deal with set up and development of the car on Irish asphalt. He also helped attract further attention to the Mirage over there. We therefore hope to be working with him again soon. In fact, we’re already planning our next event together.”


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