Newspaper article Evening Gazette (Middlesbrough, England)

Here We Roe

Newspaper article Evening Gazette (Middlesbrough, England)

Here We Roe

Article excerpt

Title-Winning rally ace Chris Roe is back in action this weekend - and he's got his eye on more championship glory.

The Redcar navigator won two Kent Cams ANCC Northern Stage Rally Championship crowns in 2003.

He and driver Ian Richardson, of Pickering, took their Vauxhall Nova to victory in both the 1300cc class and multi-venue championship - but then spent much of 2004 kicking their heels.

But the pair make their first competitive appearance in almost a year in this Sunday's Riponian Rally in the little-used forests of the North Yorkshire Moors' western fringes.

"A lot of rallies are now running a 1400cc class instead of 1300," explained Chris.

"We had a 1300cc engine so that put us at a disadvantage and we knew we had to get a bigger engine."

Severe mechanical problems in the North Humberside Rally last March convinced the pair there was no time like the present and they set to work finding and fitting a new motor.

"It wasn't easy getting an engine to match," said Chris, "and putting it in wasn't a straightforward job.

"But we wanted to take our time and get it right for this season."

The new engine made its debut in the Malton Forest Rally before Christmas.

"We used the event as a test," explained Chris. "We didn't finishing working on it until the night before and we were still putting the stickers on the next morning!

"We took it easy. We were a bit rusty and the driver wasn't confident at the start that we hadn't left a nut or bolt loose somewhere so he was only driving at about 70 per cent."

Even so, they finished an impressive second in class.

The engine has now been tuned and the pair are ready to get down to business this weekend.

Chris said: "The engine has the same BHP as the old one but the power range is different because we have got more torque.

"The Riponian is the first round of the ANCC Forest Championship and it's our intention to be challenging for the title. …

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