Rhys Pinter debuts at the British Rally Championships
The 2015 Australian 1600 cup champion came into the event full of confidence and knowing the type of machinery he was driving he was hoping the event would going to run a lot smoother than what actually happened.
‘The event for us was a very up hill battle right from the start. From doing recce in the snow to not even be able to test the car due to some last minute insurance issues. The first time I actually drove the car was over the start line and straight away on the road I knew the settings in the car were wrong’. Pinter said.
The fiesta was much to hard for the conditions and with some other niggling issues with the car Rhys and Co-driver Mark Swallow knew it was going to be a tough start to the rally.
‘The aim was to just get the car to the finish of the first night as I knew I dropped too much time in the first stage. Our goal basically changed. I made some setup adjustments mid stage and on the road section to SS2 which helped but was still not ideal.’
Unfortunately, Rhys made a mistake on SS2 where he was still learning to drive Left Hand drive and due to the conditions from recce the car was placed too far over, hit ice and slid into a snow ditch.
‘I was so annoyed with myself! I don’t normally make mistakes like that and the fact we were catching cars in front made things frustrating as I knew the pace was there!’
After a wash and some daylight, the team made some substantive changes to the cars set up to go out and have push and show the speed that Rhys is capable of.
Unfortunately the car inherited some small issues culminated with the conditions of snow and ice, the pace was simply not there.
It took until midday service for the car to ‘feel like home’ and the team were back on the pace until a freak clutch cylinder blew up causing fluid to gush into the foot well.
‘I was finally happy and comfortable with the car and I went though a hairpin, went to use the clutch then there was a loud bang and the next thing I knew there was clutch fluid all through the foot well. Our rally was done. It was disappointing to finally be able to push but that’s rallying’.
It was all in all a frustrating start to the Forester Rallying/ Two 4 Motorsport team. However the team will bounce back with Rhys being assured of a test prior to the next event and have an opportunity to show what should have been at Mid Wales.
Due to budget, Rhys will miss the Circuit of Ireland but will be back for the Pirelli International which could be the last event in the UK again due to budget.
‘I would love to keep going and do more events but as it stands at present there is simply not enough cash in the bank. So for now I’ll beg, borrow, steal if I have to, I just do not want this one event to be my ‘Everest’. Until the fat lady sings, I’ll keep pushing, smiling and working hard to keep the dream alive.
Rhys would like to thank partners and all the support in Australia, including Atlantic Oils, DAMESA Industries, Cross fit SFS and Speedline UK. #BRC #MWS16