Kevin Harbour is looking to end a fantastic Class B10 winning Protyre MSA Asphalt Rally Championship with a 100% finishing record, but will contest the forthcoming Ford Parts Cheviot Stages Rally on Sunday 28 October in his old Peugeot 205, having sold his Dovebank Motors Citroen C2 R2.
Harbour, who began rallying as a co-driver in 1987 before taking a 17 year break, is 16 points ahead of Rhidian Daniels in Class B10, with the Citroen C1 Max driver only able to improve by 15 points. However, Harbour’s co-driver David Tortoishell can still be pipped to the title, meaning that there is a trophy as well as pride to play for on Otterburn.
Having rallied 205s before, Harbour used the Asphalt Championship’s sabbatical last year to finish preparing his new Citroen. His first shakedown event at MIRA didn’t exactly go to plan, as another competitor missed his braking and smashed into the back on the immaculate C2 R2, resulting in a number of replacement panels and a boot floor.
But since then it’s been a fantastic experience in the self-prepared and self-serviced Citroen, with a combination of excellent results and outstanding reliability.
“We had decided that the only way to do the Protyre MSA Asphalt Rally Championship in 2018 was to enter every round and just keep banking scores,” said Harbour. “The car was extremely well-prepared before each rally at my own garage, Dovebank Motors, as can be seen from its one hundred per cent finishing record this year. Only us and Wayne Sissons/Max Freeman have achieved this out of all the competing crews. We never take a service crew with us on any rally, but must thank some of our service area neighbours this year who’ve taken pity on us when a lot of work seemed necessary on the car and only twenty minutes service time to do it in! A special mention must go to the lads who kept us in the Rally van Wervik when the gearbox mounting repeatedly failed and needed re-attaching in every service.
“It would be difficult to pick a highlight of the year, because the variety of events has just been sensational. To go from the Isle of Man, to Wervik, to the Down Rally, one after another, was amazing and each event was fantastic in its own way. For me Wervik was very special. The Belgians could certainly teach us a thing or two about laying on a spectacular entertaining, friendly, rally.
“With five rallies down and five scores in the bag, I, to my amazement, have won the B10 class this year as Rhidian Daniels can only score fifteen points at Otterburn and is now sixteen in arrears.
“Unfortunately Dave can still be beaten, as Tom Whittle can still finish on equal points to him and therefore take the title due to having more maximum scores. So our target for Otterburn is simply to finish third or better to secure the co-drivers’ title too, as Dave has a ten point score to drop so at least twelve are needed.
“This target is made a little more difficult due to the fact that on the Tuesday after the Mewla Rally I sold my C2 to a guy who was desperate to have it and prepare it in time for Wales Rally GB! So out of mothballs has come the old faithful Peugeot 205 we’ve campaigned in two previous Asphalt Championships. First job was to remove the decals from its last rally – which was the 2016 Cheviot!
“We’ve competed on Otterburn I think five times previously, which is certainly not enough to be familiar with the narrow twisting military roads. Epynt we’ve now done eighteen times but I still wouldn’t consider us veterans of the ranges.
“By the end of October the weather will definitely be a lottery, could be icy, driving rain or brilliant sunshine, we’ve experienced them all up there. It’s been a fantastic year for us, come what may on the Cheviot.”