Although we have not been attending many events throughout the winter and start of the season our workshop has still been very busy with regular customers and also some new customers. It’s always good to see familiar faces but it’s always good to be meeting new.
Brian Bell and Jamie Edwards finished their 2016 season with a 15th overall on the Trackrod Rally in Yorkshire. Having been involved in rallying for many years Brian understands fully the importance of regular checks on main components. As his gearbox was nearing its mileage for a check it was decided to do it slightly earlier during the winter break. Our team at Hassington carry out the full rebuild of the Ford Focus WRC Gearbox and also
carried out all other necessary checks to get the car ready for the 2017 season. Unfortunately Brian had to withdraw his entry from the Malcolm Wilson Stages so has yet to appear on the stages this year.
Mark Flaherty took 2nd overall in the Rallycross Challenge Europe Championship with his Focus last year and also bought a Metro 6R4. Flaherty entered a few rounds with the Metro in right hand drive which included a 2nd overall at the Rallycross Legends in France and winning the Retro Rallycross part of the British Grand Prix at Croft. After the British Grand Prix victory he decided he would like to have the Metro in left hand drive for the 2017 Championship. We have carried out all the work to swap the car over and also had a new chassis wiring loom made and fitted. The first run out for the car in left hand drive was at Croft on Sunday 20th March.
A small coming together with another car in the first heat saw some mechanical and cosmetic damage to the Metro but our technicians worked hard to repair it and give the London based driver every chance in the event. He repaid their efforts by winning the final. Unfortunately the team would have to settled for second overall. As the Metro is the only four wheel drive car entered it was decided by organisers before the event that Mark would be penalised 5 seconds on his final time. So although he won the event on track he didn’t do enough to win by more than 5 seconds and so settled into 2nd overall. Nevertheless it was a great start to the year for the Metro man.
Young local driver Michael Binnie with the well known experience of Claire Mole in the navigator seat had his first year in rallying last year and progressed massively every event. His first event at the Snowman in February led to retirement due to an electrical problem. The engine of the Mitsubishi Evo 5 was also not producing a lot of oil pressure along with some rattling. As Michael has recently took ownership of the car nobody really knew when the engine was last checked. As a result of this and fear of more retirements Michael gave us the car and we rebuilt the engine and got the car mapped for him ready for the 2nd round of the 2017 Scottish Rally Championship. Ninth overall and 3rd in class on the Border Counties Rally on 19th March showed exactly what Binnie is capable off in a car that’s almost 20 years old and ran on pump fuel. We look forward to continuing our support with Michael.
John Wink showed glimpses last year of what he is capable off in his Evo 9. After a challenging day at the Malcom Wilson on 11th March where he finished 46th overall, John brought his car to us for post event checks ahead of the Border Counties the following week where he was back into his rhythm and finished just 4 seconds behind Michael Binnie in 10th.
A long term customer of ours, Paul Bird has been getting back into the swing of things ready for his rallying return in July. The Langwathby based British Superbike team owner has been out for three tests on gravel in his Ford Focus WRC and has definetly not lost any of his ability.
Our connections with rallying in the Caribbean are still as strong as ever. Providing parts for a lot of different customers including Kyle ‘Speedy’ Gregg who won the second round of the Jamaican Championship on 20th March in his Mitsubishi Evo 9. We have sold two cars for a customer. A Ford Focus WRC to Ireland and also a Fiesta R5 Evo which has also gone to Ireland.
In 2016 we carried out some work for Timothy Stewart from Jamaica who has an Evo 9. This partnership has continued into 2017 as he sent his engine and two gearbox’s over to our base for rebuild. We fully rebuilt all the components and sent them back to him and also arranged an engineer to travel there once the components were back in the car and got the car re-mapped. Timothy finished the second round of the Jamaican Rally Championship in 2nd overall and was very happy with the performance of his engine and Gearbox.
Carrying on with our Caribbean connection, we have sourced three BMW E36 318ti’s to be sent there. We bought them as road cars, fitted them with roll cages, upgraded the suspension, fitted rally seats and belts as well as removing all standard trims and seats, fitted guards for the underside of the car, fitted hydraulic hand brakes and fitted electric cut off switches. All work was carried out to a budget and to the requirements of the customer.
Shaun Sinclair had some terrible luck last year and his Subaru S9 WRC has had an engine and gearbox rebuild. Although we did not carry out the rebuild of the components we have professionally fitted them back into the car as well as fitting a new fuel tank and organising the mapping of the car at our base in Scotland.
As well as all these big jobs we do take on small jobs. These have included:
-Regular customers who bring their road cars for services, mot preparations and repairs.
-Full set of Fiesta S2000 uprights sent for a full rebuild and to be fitted with new wheel bearings.
-Subaru Impreza road car head gasket replacement.
-Ford Galaxy cylinder head rebuild.
-Ford Fiesta ST Reiger dampers rebuild.
-Pair of Ford Capri cylinder heads rebuilt and converted to unleaded fuel
-2005 specification Ford Focus WRC Engine Rebuild
We even managed time for Christmas and New Year.
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