Battling finish in World Championship for SIMS Rally Team
Posted on Tuesday, November 25th, 2014 in Rally News
With Wales Rally GB the final round of this year’s World Rally Championship the SIMS Rally Team duo of Tony Simpson and Ian Bevan endured a tough event to secure a Top Fifty finish amongst the cream of rallying’s elite.
The pair were the first car over the start ramp at the opening ceremony on the Thursday night at a packed Eirias Stadium in Colwyn Bay in front of thousands of spectators with Simpson adding “It was a massive honour being first over the start ramp on the Thursday night, that’s a chance normally given to the likes of Sebastian Ogier or Mikko Hirvonen, so for us it was a big moment, one to treasure really. Looking back it was a sign of things to come in terms of spectators because there were so many of them everywhere.”
Heavy overnight rain left the stages very slippy on the opening day with many of the regular World Championship crews being caught out. The Rallyme.co.uk run Fiesta had a good run through the opening stage Gartheiniog 1, with Simpson happy with his time of 11:37.4 but on the following stage, Dyfi he and Bevan were caught out with Simpson explaining “We slid wide on a corner and tried to control the car, but in doing so, hit a bank with the front drivers side of the car. Not what we wanted really, but in only having remote service and being able to only use the spares we carry in the car, there was little the Rallyme.co.uk guys could do, except tell me no more jumps for the rest of the day as we could not change the damper.”
Nevertheless, the Flying Dog backed Fiesta pair, ended the Friday edging towards a top fifty place with two full days of Wales Rally GB still to come. In service at Deeside on the Friday Simpson looked back at the opening day and said “It has been a steady start for us, and it is always good to get to the end of the day, and tomorrow is a new one.”
Saturday for the DOT and Seacon backed Fiesta pair dawned and with it, runs through some of Simpsons favourite stages in the shape of Clocaenog Main and Clocaenog East. An innocent brush with the scenery early in the morning, ended up being the cause of a troubled day for the duo with Simpson explaining “We had a small brush with the scenery as it were, but soon after we started to have electrical issues, like the car cutting out, and struggling for power intermittently.” He went on to add “We checked the usual suspects such as fuses and relays, doing as much as we could, but at the likes of Chirk Castle we struggled to get the car off the start line.”
They made it back to Service at Deeside, where the Rallyme.co.uk mechanics leapt into action to try and get to the bottom of the fault, with minimal service time. With the light pod fitted Simpson and Bevan headed back out in the dark towards the re-runs of Clocaenog. Sadly for them, the issue appeared again, the car losing power, and not running cleanly meaning that confidence in the car was nigh on non-existent for Simpson and the supportive Bevan.
Having endured in the dark, a couple of heart stopping moments, the crew decided to head straight back to service in the hope the problem could be cured. Some sterling work, allied with a refusal to give up, meant that the Rallyme.co.uk mechanics traced the fault to the bumper, and ever so slight damage suffered in the early morning incident, the front fog light. They discovered an obscure short in the wiring, but repaired it immediately and were able to keep Simpson and Bevan in the event. Ironically in all the investigation, they also found the near side from damper had sustained damaged as well, and that was also replaced in Service.
With a determination to finish, both Simpson and Bevan began the final day of Wales Rally GB in the Flying Dog backed car, determined not only to finish the World Championship event, but to enjoy it too, with Simpson explaining “The Rallyme.co.uk guys have been immense all weekend, keeping Ian and I going, and we want to get to the finish, it is simple as that, plus at the end of the day we are here to enjoy it you know, and today we will.”
The popular pair managed to negotiate the Sunday stages without drama, and reached the finish of Wales Rally GB in Llandudno enjoying fully the technical and fast loop the event provided. At the finish Simpson said “Yeah, ok, Ian and I have had a tough event, but we have really enjoyed it, the guys at Rallyme.co.uk have been superb, they really have. Ian was great all weekend, in fact he has been great all year so a big thanks to him, but the likes of Pirelli have been a big help, as have all our partners.”
The crew enjoyed the huge crowds at the finish and made their way back to Deeside and Parc Ferme where the team were waiting for them. As they all managed to start winding down the final word went to Simpson when he added “It has been a really good year for us, and to end it today at a World Championship event is mega, now that I look back. There are so many to thank, but I must say a big thanks to Heather, Home2Office for keeping us all thirst free all year, Rydal Boxing Gym for keeping me in shape as well as Seacon and DOT for all the support they give, and also to all the guys at Flying Dog and thanks for the celebratory beers too.”
Flying Dog is and American Brewery and is brought in under licence by James Clay & Sons who are based in Elland West Yorkshire.
Delivered On Time / Seacon :- Motorsport and automotive specialists working within Formula 1 , WRC , Asia Pacific and many other championships around the world.
Rallyme.co.uk is a new Shropshire based company concentrating on event hire programmes that gives customers a greater range of vehicles, services and events.
Tony: email@example.com twitter @tonysimpson74
SIMS Rally Team http://www.facebook.com/groups/216344365205638/
Flying Dog www.flyingdogales.com
Delivered On Time www.deliveredontime.com
Netnoise www.north-devon-design.co.uk Website supplier
Rydal Gym www.rydalgym.co.uk Boxing Gym
Team Coordin8 www.teamcoordin8.com Hotels and Travel
Home2Office www.home2officewatercoolers.co.uk Water Supplies Watercoolers
Steve Harkness Tyres