Ford Fiesta R5 driver Stephen Wright suffered a mixed event on his first outing in the European Rally Championship since last June. Stephen, and co-driver Mikie Galvin’s encouraging start on the first day of the Circuit of Ireland was tempered with a small excursion on the final day of the rally which forced the former Motorsport Ireland Young Rally Driver of the Year to retire.
Speaking after the event Stephen said; “We were surprised with our times on the opening day. It took us some time to adjust to the control tire and we drove well within ourselves in tricky conditions but to by lying 6th overnight in such a competitive field on only our second proper rally in the R5 Fiesta was a great feeling.”
Early on day two though, Stephen and Mikie ran into difficulty. “I dropped my concentration for a split second and got caught out on some loose gravel, running wide and clipping a tree – right in front of the Eurosport helicopter camera! The damage was not severe, but enough to put us out of the event. We were having a great battle for 5th place with Sam Moffett and Euan Thorburn so it was disappointing to miss out on a potentially great result. It was such a shame as the team put in a huge effort in the weeks running up to the event to ensure the car was at its best and it would have been nice to repay them with a result but we have to be pleased with our pace and hopefully it’s a sign of better things to come.”
Next up for Stephen is his local event, the Monaghan Stages Rally, in just three weeks’ time. Despite being his home rally, Stephen has only done it once in the last six years but it’s still a rally he is really looking forward to. “The event is likely to attract a top class entry but hopefully we can turn out a good result in front of the home crowd” said Stephen this week.
You can keep up to date with Stephen and Mikie over the season by following them on Twitter @StephenWr1ght and @GalvinMikie while more information on the Wright Rally Team by is available by visiting www.wrightrally.com. Stephen is competing this season with the support of the Killyhevlin Hotel and Health Club, Spanwright and Lafarge Tarmac.
Photo: Gregory Lenormand / DPPI