25 year old Chris Wheeler & 22 year old Shaun Layland took on England’s third closed road event which was the Three Shires Stages. This event was held over Gloucestershire, Herefordshire & Worcestershire which was home to eighteen rally stages over the one day event.
The aim for the team was to progress the pace & get competitive times throughout the day, this is all part of the rebuild plan for Chris in this car.
The first stage of the day would be just over one mile long, nothing much to really settle down into but they got through at a decent pace but knowing they would have to start attacking from stage two onwards as times would be very close between all competitors as the stages were so short.
The first loop improved stage by stage & no problems would be reported when they got back into service after stage six. At the first service Chris said he was happy with the car & felt confident, but for the next loop he knew he needed to push harder as he had been a little to cautious over the opening stages.
The next set of six stages would see a big difference in the times, Chris certainly tried harder & had even climbed as high as sixteenth Overall. As this event was a National B event the classes aren’t very realistic, the DS3 R3T would be up against much more powerful cars leaving Chris & Shaun with a huge hill to climb, but as ever they took on the challenge.
The weather stayed dry through the first two loops & set to stay that way through the third & final set of stages, this would be the last attack of the day so they would be giving it their all.
After the last service as Chris & Shaun got into the car to leave the service park, they tried to select gear but the DS3 wasn’t having any of it. With a quick check from one of the teams technicians they gave advice on how to overcome the problem to see them though.
What happened was the clutch hydraulics had started to play up meaning it would be touch & go if the DS3 would even see a sight of the finish line. On route to Stage thirteen the DS3 stalled at a couple of junctions as it WAS stuck in gear & they could not get the clutch to engage, but with a few pumps of the pedal Chris managed to get some pressure back which worked & that would be another task to nurse the clutch to the end. Stage by stage went on & the pace improved once again, the clutch didn’t give them to many problems & now they knew how to overcome the issue but was certainly not making their job easy.
The last stage would be the last time through Eastnor Deer Park, Chris & Shaun launched off & gave it one last attack, there time came in just six seconds from fastest time Overall, not bad going at all. This now left just a very short road section back to service & then it would be job done. Chris & Shaun entered the service park & the team cheered with joy, they made it back even if it was touch & go & ended the rally 22nd overall & third in class. Chris has said ” I have really progressed in the car this weekend, it is the fastest I believe we have ever gone, our times are around modern day R2 cars which is about where we should be. Myself & Shaun have put a lot into the event & our notes have been great, we have pushed to new limits & will now progress again, the team have done an amazing job, big thanks to them all. “
The next event will be the last one of the year for Chris Wheeler Rallying
which is just a small event held at Bovington camp, the Challenger Stages
on the 17th November.
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