Rally Finland continues to challenge Kiwi Junior World Rally Championship competitors Dave Holder and Jason Farmer with the necessity of being able to trust your pace notes event more critical with this rally’s high speeds.
The pair were fairly consistent with stage times throughout the day, setting eighth and ninth-fastest times in a field of 13 JWRC competitors all driving identical Ford Fiesta R2 EcoBoost cars, until SS18 when they were forced to retire from the rally with a puncture and no spare with which to replace it.
Holder reports: “Another very challenging day for us at Rally Finland. Having misheard some pace notes and overshot a couple of junctions this morning, I struggled a little bit with confidence in our pace notes, just not quite there, an experience thing.
“This afternoon, we made an error in taking only one spare wheel instead of two on the second pass which turned out to be really rough and have a lot of rocks. The first stage after lunch, we got a puncture which mean we had no spare. We also had another bulging tyre on the back so were having to tread pretty carefully to get through the three remaining stages. Then unfortunately on the very next stage, we got another a puncture, so many kilometres to go, we couldn’t drive back with that so had to temporarily withdraw from the rally. We’ll re-join tomorrow to try and salvage something from the event and hopefully get a bit more pace.”
Holder adds: “We did have a massive moment this morning which just about ended up with us upside down in the trees, but somehow or other the big fella pulled us on the road and we got round it.”
There just four stages on Sunday with Holder and Farmer among other JWRC crews re-joining the event under Rally2 regulations. This allows them to be allocated assigned stage times for the stages they missed on Saturday, which leaves them currently ninth on the JWRC leader-board.