Getting to the Iron Bridge stage proved to be a bit of a challenge for the team from The Garage, as our route was blocked by another stage. A tip from Andrew Harvey sent us to an alternate spot where we could gain access to shoot the next couple of runs through the Iron Bridge stage.
As they did for the whole rally, the Rockstar Mitsubishi of Antoine L’Estage and Nathalie Richard was the first car through the stage. While they were bombing along at a fast pace, there was very little drama as L’Estage was driving super smoothly. Their primary competition, Pat Richard and Alan Ockwell were a whole different story.
Having split the right front wheel and brake caliper on A4, the Rocket Rally crew found that the steering rack on Richard’s Subaru was also damaged. Replacement of the offending steering gear cost the team 14 minutes which resulted in a 2:20 penalty. All of this translates into a very aggressive drive from Richard on the next stage. By the time the Subaru reached our vantage point, Pat was in full attack mode, using all of the road and throwing rocks well into the woods while the fans went crazy.
By this time, several of the top Subaru teams were also struggling. Crazy Leo spun on A2, and the resulting damage caused a fire which ended his rally. Martin Rowe had a flat that caused a bent strut and transmission damage while the Swap Shop cars also had some troubles. The technical problems weren’t just happening to the Subaru teams though, as Peter Thomson lost the brakes in his Evo, making A3 a bit of a hairy ride.