Scott Faulker Rallying continued its push to secure the 2019 BTRDA Production Cup at the 2019 Woodpecker Stages Rally. Competing with over 170 crews to tackle five stages in the Radnor, Haye Park and Hopton forest complexes.
With another Group N victory needed to secure the 2019 BTRDA Production Cup with one event to spare, the pressure was on the Professional Motorsport World Expo-sponsored team.
For the first loop of two stages, driver Scott Faulkner had opted to use the hardest of the Pirelli P-Zero tires on offer. However, changeable weather made it apparent that the hard tire was the wrong choice.
Struggling with understeer and low grip in the fast corners, Faulkner lost 15 seconds to nearest championship rivals and class leaders Pat Naylor and Ian Lawrence and four seconds to second placed Russ Thompson and Andy Murphy – leaving the pair third in class.
“I knew as soon as the rain came that it would be the wrong tire,” explained Faulkner. “We had a good first stage, but the 12 seconds lost in the second cost us – it’s a lot to have to claw back.”
Moving on to a softer compound for the afternoon stages, the Scott Faulkner Rallying team set the fastest Group N time and fifth-fastest overall time in stage three. Another quick time in stage four was enough to move the pair up to second in Group N, while still 16 seconds off the lead.
With the last stage 14 miles long, there was still a possibility of placing first. However, five miles in, Faulkner beached the Evo 9 on a bank turning into a tight hairpin bend.
“I knew as soon as I saw the bank on the inside that we were in trouble,” said Faulkner. “But because we entered the corner so fast, I couldn’t get the gearbox into reverse!
As a result of delay, and with Thompson setting the fastest time in the last stage, Faulkner fell into third place.
This result means that the winner of the BTRDA Group N Production Cup will be decided on a winner-takes-all final round of the championship. The Trackrod Rally based in Scarborough, North Yorkshire, will be the deciding round at the end of September.