Welham Green racer in fantastic finish at new ground-breaking rally in Essex
PUBLISHED: 07:00 04 May 2018
A rally driver from Welham Green has picked up a good result in a ground-breaking new event.
Niall Moroney, along with co-driver Elgan Davies, finished eighth in the Corbeau Seats Tendring and Clacton Rally in their World Rally Championship specification Subaru Impreza.
This was the first ever car rally to be held on closed public roads in England and saw 106 cars take to the line to tackle 15 timed stages, covering a total of 45 miles, over the narrow country lanes which snake around the Essex countryside near Clacton-on-Sea.
And Green Belt Motor Club racer Moroney showed he was up for the challenge, making the top-10 after the first group of five stages.
The breaks in between allowed Moroney to visit the rally’s service area on Clacton promenade for 40 minutes of work by the car’s service crew from EJM Preparation.
And they made changes to its suspension settings to improve grip on the faster sections of the special stages.
The second loop was an identical run of the first five stages and the new set-up, coupled with more experience of the roads, allowed Moroney to shave a couple of seconds off his previous time on every stage.
Unfortunately this was also the case for most other crews who also improved on their previous times.
However, from stage six onwards the Impreza’s clutch started to slip and this got progressively worse as the stages continued.
It meant that while Moroney was able to improve on his previous stage times, it was only by small margins.
During the final loop of stages the Ford Escort of Essex’s John Indri and Dave Engwell made a big charge from behind.
They nearly caught up with the Moroney/Davies Subaru as the two cars swapped fastest times, but the Green Belt driver was able to resist this pressure and coax his deteriorating car to eighth, with his rival a mere five seconds behind him at the final time control.
And the event’s success was confirmed by the hundreds of spectators who lined the roads in the service area at the rally’s official finish in Clacton.
Anyone wanting more information about the Green Belt Motor Club can visit the club’s official website online at www.gbmc.org.uk.