Adventurous ending to MLC Computer Solutions Rally Team's season
information supplied by: MSA Rally Commission
08 October 2012
ADVENTUROUS ENDING TO MLC COMPUTER SOLUTIONS RALLY TEAM’S SEASON
The Polokwane Rally typified the MLC Computer Solutions Rally Team’s season with a great turn of speed punctuated by some funny and not so funny incidents throughout the year.
Electing not to go to the final round in the Western Cape next month, Murray Lloyd and Ralph Lehmann closed a great chapter in their rally careers, gaining in speed and confidence as they got to grips with national rallying and their chosen weapon, a Volkswagen Polo Vivo R2.
The penultimate round of the championship in Limpopo province saw Lloyd and Lehmann overshoot a corner in the first stage and get stuck for six minutes. “By the time we got there, a number of the arrows had been knocked down”, Lloyd related. “There were six farmers standing at that spot and not even they could budge the car; eventually, after Ralph got out and sank to his ankles in soft sand, one farmer got his truck and pulled us out”.
Putting the early disappointment behind them, the MLC Polo was quickly up to speed in stage two until a jump in a corner caused a driveshaft to snap and pitched the white, blue and orange car off the road. They managed to reach the end of the stage but could go no further.
Undaunted, the MLC team re-entered the event under Superally rules, which allows a competitor back in the event albeit with severe time penalties for stages not completed on the first day.
Quickly repaired, the MLC VW tackled stage 10 and was just six seconds off the S1600 championship leader. The 23km long roller-coaster stage 11 followed, which Lloyd described as “rubbish”.
“There are so many jumps there that even taking them in first gear, the nose hit the ground. I hated it!’ Lloyd said. The final gravel stage saw Lloyd and Lehmann set the 3rd quickest S1600 time in spite of flattening two trees in two different corners. “They weren’t small trees either. The bumper took a beating but stayed in place”, Lloyd related.
Their time was quick enough to beat the S1600 championship leader and they took 4 seconds off the class rally leader Ashley Haigh Smith, a rewarding end to their season.
“We’ve had a great season. Our pace got quicker as the year progressed and we saw solid progression. I am a bit conservative but I have to pay the bills”, Lloyd laughed.