The British Rally Championship finally got underway at the weekend and first time out in their Peugeot 208 R2 at the Richard Burns Foundation Pirelli Rally were Scottish Borders pairing Garry Pearson from Duns and Davey Robson from Ancrum.
The local lads put in some impressive stage times to lead their class and were up to fourth overall when they were forced to retire.
It was midway through the third stage when the power steering pump stripped its mountings which also caused the alternator to eject it’s belt and although they didn’t lose much time on the stage they only just made it to service at Carlisle with Garry pushing the car the last 200 metres as the battery had given up by then. Unfortunately there was no spare power steering pump so the service crew fixed the car up the best they could and sent it on its way. Amazingly Garry held onto his class lead and 4th overall over the next three stages back in Kielder Forest without any power steering although there was some hair raising moments.
“Fortunately I attend the Putton Mill Fitness Centre regularly and do weights at home otherwise there was no way I could have driven the car that far without power steering – I am totally exhausted as it is,” said Garry at the end of the first day.
Despite the help of many competitors and service crews trying to source a replacement power steering pump over night the crew reluctantly took the difficult decision to retire the car in the morning.
Team manager Monty Pearson said: “With no power steering for the second day - it was going to be a mammoth task for Garry to finish the Rally without putting the car off into the scenery and we agreed the best thing to do was retire as the Jim Clark Rally is only four weeks away.”