|Damian Cole flies in his Ford Focus WRC|
Damian Cole was supposed to be on a family holiday in Devon at the time of the Tyneside Stages Rally (July 31), but when you’re increasingly well placed to win the REIS MSA Asphalt Rally Championship for the second year in a row, you don’t let a little matter like that prevent you from getting behind the wheel! The effort brought due reward too, with Cole and co-driver James Morgan winning the event outright in their Ford Focus WRC and becoming the first pairing of 2011 to achieve two maximum scores.
Putting his Kumho tarmac rally tyres to optimum use, Cole enjoyed a day-long battle with last year’s Tyneside winners Simon Mauger and Brian Cammack, and such was the closeness of the fight that the teams were level pegging after five of the nine stages. However, the Otterburn Ranges took their toll and Mauger’s venerable MKII escort suffered a driveshaft failure during the penultimate test, leaving Cole to cruise to victory and further extend his championship lead with three rounds remaining.
Among others relying on Kumho rubber were the popular RAF Typhoon Rally Team of Chris Daykin and Dan Megannity. They arrived lying second in class for the championship, despite missing rounds due to key team members being on overseas operations, and left in the same position following another very solid performance in their Group N Subaru Impreza. The next round of the series is the Mewla National Rally that will take place on Sunday August 28.
Said Kumho’s European Competition Manager Steve Thompson, “I’m sure Damian will enjoy his holiday all the more for winning the Tyneside rally and simultaneously lengthening his lead in the series. We look forward to joining forces with him again at the next event.”