NEWS: Culina’s Season Closes In Style At Sunseeker
21st October 2013

The Culina Palletforce Racing team ended its maiden rally season with a solid performance after John MacCrone and Phil Pugh finished seventh on the MSA British Rally Championship finale at Rallye Sunseeker.

The pair rounded off the season with a resounding result after a day’s racing through the forests around Poole in Dorset as the top British series drew to an exciting climax.

MacCrone came to the event off the back of an overall win on the Mull Rally last weekend, however, the young Scot was unable to replicate the winning form on gravel. His lack of experience on the soft Sunseeker stages meant he couldn’t mount a challenge on the rally leaders and had to settle for top-six times.

After a high-profile ceremonial start at Poole Quay last night, watched by thousands of excited spectators, the action kicked off this morning in the forests around Ringwood and the stately home of Somerley Park. MacCrone had a solid start but struggled to find a rhythm on the soft gravel tracks.

The uncomplicated stages meant there was little to separate the top drivers but the Culina crew settled into sixth from the opening stages. After making some ride height and suspension changes at the midday service in Creekmoor, the pair lifted their pace for the afternoon action.

In the Culina Citroen DS3, MacCrone excelled on the high-speed sections of the forest stages but struggled on the slow junctions. The Scot’s limited experience in the DS3 meant he’s been playing catch-up all year with most other top crews having returned for a second season in the Citroen.

The action-packed itinerary saw crews tackle 58 stage miles across 10 timed tests, finishing against the stunning backdrop of Somerley House. The well-supported event had moved from its traditional February date and huge numbers of fans turned out to welcome the rally stars on their last blast this year.

John MacCrone, Culina Palletforce Racing team driver, said: “It has been a very frustrating event and, no matter how hard we tried, we just couldn’t find the rhythm or the speed. The pacenotes were good, we went well in the high speed sections but I think we were dropping time at the junctions. I haven’t been able to get on top of the car this season and probably need more seat time to be on the pace of the other drivers.”

Phil Pugh, Culina Palletforce Racing team co-driver, said: “We weren’t on the pace today but did learn a lot. The afternoon stages were better as John changed some things in service and our times improved. The other guys have more experience and we just haven’t been able to match this this weekend.”

Report: Courtesy of Culina Palletforce Racing


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