Frustrating start in China
Jul 24, 2006
Alister McRae suffered what could best be described as a frustrating start to the second round of the Chinese Rally Championship today (Saturday 21 July), the Liupanshui Rally. He rolled his Group N Mitsubishi Lancer EvoIX on the first stage of the event and the resulting time loss getting the car back on the road dropped him and co-driver Gordon Noble to 14th overall, some 11 minutes off the lead.
McRae explained what happened; “It was a tightening left-hand corner and the car slid wide. The rear wheels off the road and into the ditch by the side and that pitched the car into a roll, into a paddy field. The damage wasn’t too severe, although the windscreen was broken and the car was filled with mud and peat – it’s the biggest mess I’ve ever seen! It took us around 10 minutes to get the car out and back on the road.”
The team carried out repairs but the car wasn’t fully on form. They changed one of the steering arms but didn’t have sufficient time during service to check the alignment of the suspension and as it transpired, the settings we incorrect. This cost the Scot further time with unpredictable handling through the following stages. The team was also trying a new specification of dampers and the settings were not to McRae’s liking.
However, Alister remained focussed on the final day of the rally, despite the time loss. “Drivers score points for the teams’ awards on both days of the rally, so there’s still a lot to play for,” he explained at the end of the first day. “So we’ll be going at maximum attacked tomorrow to get the best result possible for the team but also, try to see if we can make our way back up the leader-board as well.”
New Zealander Richard Mason leads the event after the first day, in his Subaru Impreza WRX.
previous article •