27 JUNE 2018 09:15
Philip Hopkins had a successful trip to the Ravens Rock Rally in southern Ireland, where the Bristol-based driver was testing his Spencer Sport-run, Hopkins Specialist Race Trailers-backed, Mitsubishi Mirage R5 ahead of the Down Rally.
The twisty closed-road asphalt rally contained three loops of three stages, and had attracted four R5 cars and two R5+ cars. Competition was close, and after two stages the top four R5 cars were separated by four seconds!
Philip had made a great start and was battling for the class lead and was just outside the overall top 10 when he went off on SS3 and punctured a tyre, dropping to 24th in the process. Co-driven by Ashley Trimble, he fought back and took the lead of the class and was inside the overall top 10, before another excursion on the ninth and final stage dropped him to second in class and 13th overall.
“We went to the Ravens Rock Rally not to get a result as such, but to test the Mirage R5 ahead of the Down Rally at the end of July,” said Philip. “As with the last five events we’ve done in the car, it ran faultlessly. We made a big step forward, and on the clean stages we were only one and a half seconds a kilometre off the highly respected Irish driver Daniel Cronin, which we were very pleased about.
“We now plan to do the Down Rally, a round of the Asphalt Rally Championship, and then my brother Olli is going to drive the car on the Harry Flatters on Epynt.”