Following the unexplained retirement by the Comline Auto Parts/NGK Group backed Fowden Motorsport Subaru Impreza WRC from the recent Melvyn Evans Motorsport Tour of Epynt, the opening round of the 2018 MSA Protyre Asphalt Rally Championship, the team has completed a full examination of the WRC machine at its base in Llanelli, West Wales.
The Subaru had slid off the road on a corner near the end of SS5, with no apparent reason, whilst in a strong third place, and pushing to take second. The long stage, and the two reversed long stages remaining, are ones Bob Fowden knows extremely well, making the crash not only rare but one that had, until detailed investigation, no obvious cause.
The team has found that a rear suspension unit had lost pressure, allowing the rear of the Impreza to dip beyond proper limits at one side, and as a consequence causing the front of the car to rise on the opposite quarter, effectively losing tyre grip in the middle of the corner, and making a correction by the driver ineffective.
The unit has been moved from the car for repair by the specialist suspension manufacturer and the remaining three suspension units are being fully inspected to ensure they are at one hundred percent efficiency prior to the next round of the series, the Bet on Aces Manx National (11-12 May).