Paul and Julian Doroszczuk enjoyed a fantastic run on the Carryduff Folklift Down Rally in their normally-aspirated Cosworth engined Drockspeed Motorsport Escort Mk2 – in what was very much a “mission accomplished” performance and result.
The Welsh crew knew that winning their class in Northern Ireland would give them the B11 class lead in the series – which is exactly what happened. The race for the B11 title is a hotly contested battle, and after four rounds the Doroszczuk brothers are just four points ahead of Geoff Glover/Keith Barker in their rear-wheel drive Astra, with Phil Turner/Ian Meakin a further two points behind in their Toovey Race Engines/ST Motorsport-backed Escort Mk2, heading into the penultimate round of the series, the Old Forge Garage Mewla Rally (25/26 August).
“This event was crucial to the success or failure of our season in the Protyre MSA Asphalt Rally Championship,” admits Julian. “We had calculated that if we won the class on the Down Rally, irrespective of the order in which our rivals finished, we would move into the lead of our class in the Championship and leave us in a very strong position with only two events remaining.
“All the pre-event omens were positive. The repairs were completed well in advance of the rally, new harder compound tyres ordered in anticipation of the good weather had arrived, and despite never rallying on these stages before the pacenotes proved very fast and accurate on the recce.
“Paul had never looked so nervous before a rally, but also so determined. He was absolutely focused on beating our class rivals, especially after the disappointment of Belgium.
“Despite clipping a kerb on stage two, damaging a rim and tyre, and warping a brake disc on the second loop of stages requiring a hub and disc change, the car and its new clutch ran faultlessly. The short spectator stage, which ran three times in total, proved our only nemesis on the stages. Our approach was cautious, as there was nothing to gain and everything to lose, however we still managed a partial spin and conceded time to our rivals on every run. The picture was completely different out on the ‘real’ stages where man, machine and pacenotes all seemed to click resulting in us taking significant time out of our class rivals and resulting in a comfortable class win in the end – and yes, the lead in the championship class. Mission accomplished!
“We can’t wait for the Mewla Rally in August, where we will face an even bigger challenge with the return of Phil Turner. Bring it on!”