Career-best ERC finish for Barrable after podium finish on the Circuit of Ireland Rally
April 22, 2014 by Leo Nulty
Robert Barrable has scored his first FIA European Rally Championship podium result after finishing a career-best 3rd overall on the Discover Northern Ireland Circuit of Ireland Rally (April 17-19) in his Tunnock’s World Rally Team Ford Fiesta R5.
Co-driven by Stuart Loudon, who was fighting off a sinus infection, the 26-year old Dublin driver pushed hard throughout the 18 stage, 143.17 mile (230.42km) event. In fact, Robert split the two works ŠKODA Motorsport Fabia S2000s of Esapekka Lappi and Sepp Wiegand and was lying in 2nd place entering the penultimate stage.
Unfortunately, an overshoot through an open gate and into a field on the second pass of the long Bronte Homeland test cost him a dozen seconds, dropping Robert behind Wiegand to 3rd.
Robert’s previous best European result was 5th overall on the 2012 Barum Czech Rally Zlín in a ŠKODA Fabia S2000.
Robert: “This year’s Circuit of Ireland was a really enjoyable event and I’m delighted to have finished third. An overshoot on the penultimate stage ultimately cost us second place, but it was our drive through Hamilton’s Folly on Friday that cost us the most amount of time. We just couldn’t find a rhythm in that stage and we lost forty seconds over the two runs, which was a shame.
“Saturday’s stages suited us a lot better. The pace was fairly hot, but we were able to keep Sepp Wiegand behind us until I just lost concentration for a split second, overshot a junction and lost around twelve seconds turning the car around in a field. Not to worry, we’ll get him next time!
“Overall, it was a great event and we’re very pleased with our performance.”
Stuart: “It was pretty much a perfect weekend. The car was faultless, we’ve shown good pace and this is probably the hardest we’ve driven in the Fiesta R5 since we got it. Third place behind two works ŠKODA cars is just brilliant – more than we could have dreamed of. The ŠKODA Fabia S2000 may be coming to the end of its life cycle, but the team is still developing the car and it is still a full factory effort. I’m really proud of the way Rob drove and what we achieved this weekend.”
Circuit of Ireland – top 10
1. Esapekka Lappi/Janne Ferm (ŠKODA Fabia S2000)….2hrs 06mins 15.5secs
2. Sepp Wiegand/Frank Christian (ŠKODA Fabia S2000)….+1min 50.0secs
3. Robert Barrable/Stuart Loudon (Ford Fiesta R5)….+ 1min 57.5secs
4. Robert Consani/Maxime Vilmot (Peugeot 207 S2000)….+ 5mins 34.0secs
5. Neil Simpson/Claire Mole (ŠKODA Fabia S2000)….+6mins 33.5secs
6. Daniel McKenna/Arthur Kierans (Citroën DS3)….+6mins 33.5secs
7. Josh Moffett/John Rowan (Mitsubishi Lancer Evo)….+11mins 00.6secs
8. Jan Černý/Pavel Kohout (Peugeot 208 R2)….+12mins 57.4secs
9. Jonathan Greer/Kirsty Riddick (Citroën DS3 R3T)….+13mins 50.1secs
10. Zoltán Bessenyey/Yulianna Nyirfás (Honda Civic)….+15mins 04.1secs