The weekend of the 17th October 2015 saw the Hippo Motor Group rally team compete for the 7th time this year. With a recent top 10 result in the Trackrod stages, confidence was high going into one of the biggest events of the calendar year.
The Cambrian Rally was celebrating its 60th year after first opening in 1956. The extra celebration brought out 189 competitors on what was a fierce weekend of competition. Hippo’s rally team were seeded 25th out of over 180 entrants, and all were confident of a top 10 finish.
Despite lots of preparation and a well running former WRC car, the team unfortunately overshot a corner on the first stage. This left the team over 30 seconds behind as spectators assisted in getting the car out of a pretty steep ditch.
Stage two saw some good progress with the team setting the tenth overall fastest time. This gave the team a push up the leaderboard and some more confidence going into the third stage.
The third stage was going very well until an unavoidable puncture slowed the team down. This was then followed by another incident as Tom drove off road and into another ditch. This slowed the team down more than the previous, as Co-Driver Andrew Roughead had to leave the car to get the team back on the road. After finishing the stage the team regrouped, repaired the puncture, and prepared to haul themselves up from 75th position.
With five stages remaining, the car and driver pairing performed well. On all five following stages the Hippo rally team finished the course with top 10 times. This incredible turn in fortune brought the team to a respectable 28th place overall. On the final stage our team were able to boast the 5th fastest time.
The next event we will compete at will be the Grizedale Forest Stages on the 21st November, where we hope to finish a little higher.