There had been a huge amount of media surrounding Damian Cole switching from his WRC Focus to a Mk2 Escort to try and win the championship 4 times in a row, and be the first 2wheel drive car to win the championship in over 20 years. This was a challenge Simon and Brian couldn’t resist, so they decided to return to the MSA Championship in 2013 to battle with Damian in equal cars.
This was the first time the crew had been out together since their win in Jersey in October 2012, but they jumped straight back into the pace as if they’d never been apart!
Disappointingly, Damian’s Mk2 wasn’t ready in time, so the class battle was between Simon and John Indri in his Darrian. The crews were swapping seconds all day. A wrong tyre choice in the mornings slippery conditions left Simon and Brian 6th overall after the first two stages. But they soon increased the pace and by the end of the 4th stage they had worked their way up to 4th overall. They held this position all day and finished 4th overall, winning their class and being the first 2 wheel drive car, only 8 seconds off Paul Bird’s world rally car who claimed 3rd place.
Steve Simpson was leading the event all day, but a mistake on the final stage meant Damian Cole closed the 24 second gap, resulting in a tie! The results went back to the first stage giving Steve Simpson the win.
The event had a very strong entry with the top 10 finishers being comprised entirely of world rally cars, apart from Simons Escort and 2 Darrians. The only other Mk2 Escort to finish in the top 20 was Stevie Leonard (who finished 17th, over 4 minutes behind Simon), who was Simons main competition for the Jersey Rally honours.
A big thank you to everyone who helped before and during the event, and to our partners, particularly RAVENOL Oils and Carless who have joined us for the 2013 season.
“I’m really happy with the result; the only downside is due to a timing error we were not aware that we were so close to 3rd place overall. If we had of known this we would have pushed a bit harder on the last stage. However, we are still happy with winning the 2 wheel drive battle. A great start to the season, and we are now looking forward to battling against Damian’s Escort on the Jim Clark! We have proved yet again that Major Motorsport are the number 1 Mk2 Escort team and still have the best Mk2 Escort in the country!”
– Simon Mauger