Dodd Wins Bulldog Rally and National Championship
'DODD MAKES IT FOUR IN WALES!'
Poole driver Marcus Dodd made rallying history this weekend as he won the
Bulldog Rally and in doing so, became Pirelli MSA Gravel Rally Champion for
the fourth time.
Together with Manx co-driver Andrew Bargery, the HPM Motorsport crew had a
dramatic run up to the rally. Piston failure in testing prior to the rally
meant that Dodd had less than 24 hours to find a car in which to contest the
Oswestry based event. Step forward fellow HPM Motorsport driver Peter
Egerton, who owns an identical Hyundai Accent WRC4 to Marcus.
Egerton offered Marcus his car for the event and the car was despatched from
the Poole workshops to Oswestry overnight. With suspension and brake
settings adjusted to suit Marcus it was all set for action in the classic
forests of North Wales. In a style befitting a champion, Dodd hit the
ground running by taking fastest time on the first three stages, building a
comfortable lead over his nearest rival. The championship situation
entering the final round meant that Dodd and Bargery had to take maximum
points in order to be champions. Only a win would do!
The Flitewise, Pirelli and Revolution Wheels backed Hyundai was in complete
control at the head of the field. Marcus wasn't pushing too hard but was
content to be doing 'enough' to keep ahead of the chasing pack. Rival Steve
Perez did his best to up the ante over the final three stages with some fast
times but by then Marcus was already in cruise mode as he throttled back the
Hyundai in slippery conditions. Marcus was able to coast through the final
stage in Dyfnant forest to take a 32 second victory from Perez, and in doing
so, won the Pirelli MSA Gravel Rally Championship for a record breaking
Dodd was both happy and relieved at the finish back in Oswestry:
"I was beginning to think luck was against me this year! We had a huge lead
on the penultimate round in Yorkshire only for the engine to fail in the
last stage. To then have another engine problem in testing prior to the
Bulldog Rally really did suggest that this wouldn't be our year. I can't
begin to thank Peter Egerton enough for loaning me his car at the last
minute. It was a very generous gesture and I'm pleased we were able to
bring the car home in one piece for Peter. We really owe him one!
I'd also like to thank Flitewise, Pirelli Tyres and Revolution Wheels for
their support during the season, and of course Andrew for his efforts during
the year. In particular I would like to say a huge thank you to all the
guys at HPM Motorsport for their efforts in running the cars this year and
their efforts and sleepless nights over the weekend of the Bulldog Rally.
It was well worth it! I'm really delighted to be the first person to have
won the championship four times and it's great to make it back to back wins
as well. The competition gets tougher each year so I'm really pleased that
we've been able to get the job done again!"
Round 6 Trackrod Rally Yorkshire
The slightly shorter National Rally finished in dramatic style with defending Pirelli ANCRO National Gravel Champion Marcus Dodd leading for much of the day only to see his hopes of capitalising on the absence of current series leader Jon Ingram blown to pieces on the final 14-mile Givendale stage.
Poole businessman Dodd, outright winner of the Trackrod Rally in 1998 and 1999, pulled up agonisingly in Dalby forest when his Hyundai Accent WRC's engine failed, handing victory to Steve Perez, in a Ford Focus WRC, just days after the Chesterfield man returned from an equally successful fourth place on the Rally of Peru.
Round 5 Swansea Bay National Rally, Swansea, Saturday 19 July 2008
Maximum Points For Dodd As Weston Wins Swansea Bay National Rally
Aberdeen driver Dave Weston claimed the overall victory on today's Swansea Bay National Rally as Marcus Dodd took his second win of the season in the 2008 Pirelli MSA Gravel Rally Championship.
Weston and co-driver Aled Davies led from the outset in their Ford Focus WRC and never looked back as they finished 20 seconds ahead of the leading gravel series crew Dodd and co-driver Andrew Bargery in the Hyundai Accent WRC.
Championship leaders Jon Ingram and Ian Allsop finished third overall and took second in the series in their Subaru Impreza WRC as Steve Perez and Stephen McAuley were fourth in their Focus WRC.
Ingram still leads the title chase but with Dodd's victory, and the two dropped scores to be taken into account, it is still all to play for.
"I'm pleased with the win but it's a shame someone didn't finish between Jon and I to keep the championship more open," Dodd said. "We had a push on stage five but we were a bit sensible on the last one."
Dodd and Bargery took charge at the top of the championship leaderboard from Ingram/Allsop on stage four after Ingram drove through the test in road mode and lost a bit of time. Dodd had his fair share of problems too as a brake seal went on stage three, but it cost him little time.
Round 1 Rallye Sunseeker Bournemouth
Marcus Dodd has won Rallye Sunseeker for the sixth time in his career – he and co-driver Andrew Bargery overcame clutch troubles on their Hyundai Accent WRC during the first leg of the event to move to the front of the field and, by the time they arrived back in Bournemouth, their winning margin was 43 seconds after over 62 miles of special stages. The win puts the pair into the lead of the Pirelli MSA Gravel Rally Championship after the opening round.
Defending ANCRO Champion Marcus Dodd got the season off to a great start by claiming an unprecedented sixth victory on the Bournemouth based Rallye Sunseeker which comprised the opening round of the 2008 MSA Pirelli Gravel Rally Championship.
Driving the HPM Motorsport Hyundai Accent WRC along with co driver Andrew Bargery, with whom he won last year’s event also, the local ace overcame clutch problems last night and a broken paddle-shift late this afternoon to take a deserved victory some 43 seconds ahead of the Peugeot Cosworth of Andrew Burton.