Despite an uncharacteristically over-cautious start, Damian Cole fought back magnificently to score second placed points on the Carryduff Forklift Down Rally and maintain his lead in the Protyre Motorsport UK Asphalt Rally Championship.
Despite a torrential overnight storm that left the opening loop of stages very wet and slippery, Damian was at a loss as to how he’d dropped so much time on the opening stage. But thereafter he and co-driver Paul Spooner flew over the remaining ten stages, and whilst only a handful of seconds separated Damian and John Stone all event, the six time Asphalt champion eventually finished second, just 16 seconds behind, in his Get Connected/Energizer-backed Fiesta RS WRC.
“It was a shame I was so poor on the opening stage, I don’t know what happened but it was a terrible stage time,” admitted Damian.
“We did well from stage two onwards, but we just couldn’t get back the time that John [Stone] took out of us on the opening stage, and ultimately that’s what cost us maximum points.
“Looking at the Asphalt Championship, Jason [Pritchard] has to finish both the remaining events, so there is a bit of pressure on him, and all we can do now is go out and try to win the Mewla Rally and take the battle for the title down to the final round on the Cheviot.”
Having scored well on all five rounds, Damian holds a commanding 32 point lead at the head of the Asphalt series.