Witham-based rally driver Becky Kirvan successfully debuted her new VW Polo rally car last weekend on the Lookout Stages, taking 40th place on the Trackrod Motor Club organised event.
The rally was held at Melbourne airfield near York and consisted of 8 stages using the old runways and perimeter roads of the venue.
Becky, who won the Silverstone Rally School Lady Quest competition in 2006, and co-driver Tim Rodgers made a steady start to the event as Becky got used to driving a left-hand drive car in competition for the first time.
“We took the first couple of stages gently as I had only driven the car for the first time the day before the rally,” said Becky.
“With not being used to sitting in the left seat I had to remember which side the gear lever and handbrake was on so I didn’t end up opening the door mid-stage!”
A few minor problems with the suspension were rectified during a service halt and with the help of co-driver Rodgers, who works as a rally driving instructor, Becky picked up the pace on the following stages. A slight argument with a tyre wall resulted in some damage to the side of the Polo but Becky carried on pushing and learning about the handling of the new car.
By the final two stages Becky had the confidence to throw the car around a bit although in the final stage the car got out of shape on a damp patch of track and collided with an oil drum resulting in a little more cosmetic damage to the Polo. However, Kirvan and Rodgers made it to the event finish in 40th place overall which was a creditable result given that the VW was one of the lowest powered cars on the event.
“I’m delighted we got to the finish, the car was fantastic. Our objectives for the day were to get some miles in the new car, learn its handling characteristics and get used to left-hand drive,” commented Becky.
“We achieved all our objectives and I really did enjoy every minute of the event, although I apologise to my little Polo for bruising him somewhat!”
Becky now plans to do some testing on gravel tracks and then, if sufficient funding can be obtained, she hopes to contest some forest rallies later in the year.