By MCR Motorsport Media, May 5 2017 10:03AM
Cumbrian rally ace Aaron McClure will contest the third round of the Ravenol BTRDA Rally Series in Welshpool this weekend and is hoping to rejuvenate his championship hopes with a decent points haul at the Plains Rally.
Returning to the ultra-competitive Production Cup in 2017 after a lengthy absence for much of last year, McClure aimed to kick off his season with championship scores in mind rather than outright wins.
But a fifth place at the Malcolm Wilson Rally behind the wheel of his Yokohama backed Mitsubishi Evo IX was followed by a cruel retirement from the following round in Somerset; rear differential failure forcing the Flookburgh driver out of the event in the closing stages.
His failure to score points last month means he languishes down in ninth spot of the Production Cup; a far cry from the podium position he was looking for at the start of the season.
McClure, co-driven once again by Welshman Michael Gilbey will need to ensure he matches his outright pace with one eye on the points situation during the event if he is to get his championship aspirations back on track in Wales.
“It seems to be quite a frustrating year for us so far” admits McClure.
“I was pleased enough with fifth on my home event in March as I was still settling back into the car after almost 12 months away. We showed some really good pace on the Somerset too but it was mixed with some slower times as well. That was fine to a certain degree, as all we wanted to do there was finish but to have to retire on the second to last stage was a bitter pill to swallow.”
However, the 22 year old has good memories of the upcoming event.
“I haven’t done the Plains Rally since 2015 but I took second in the NR4 and Production classes that year so I have a really fond recollection of the stages. A runner up spot will be a tough ask now of course and it’s not really the plan anyway, a decent score is all we are after this time”.
The Plains Rally takes place on Saturday 13th May and consists of over 40 miles of competitive driving in the Mid Wales forests around Welshpool.