Craig Breen took a 6.2 second victory over Kajetan Kajetanowicz at Circuit of Ireland after a tense battle which came down to the final stage. I decided to go to the end of the final stage to see the drivers, which allowed me to see Craig celebrate with his family.
With two stages left to go Breen held what looked to be a comfortable 20 second lead over Kajto, but an off on the second to last stage damaged his car and put the Polish rival back in contention. There were many anxious faces at the finish line as Craig Breen’s family paced back and forth listening to the radio for the final result. When the news came through that Breen won the rally the family were in tears, they know more than anyone how much this means to Craig.
Having learnt from yesterday, I planned my route carefully to see as much of the stages as possible and used Google Street view to make sure I would have a good vantage point at my chosen spot. My favourite spot was on stage 15. I was perched on top of a wall above the road. From there I could see the cars come over the hill, brake hard on the run down to the bottom of the valley, and power up the hill, passing beneath me as they slowed and did a handbrake turn through a sharp right.
So how do you follow a rally? The key is to plan. If you show up at the first corner you find, you could find a decent spot, but if you want to get the best view, a quick study of the route can tell you a lot. If you’re at the bottom of a hill, you won’t see as much as at the top, and if you really plan well, you can get really close to the cars as they pass!
I plan to write at least one more post about the rally. But for now, I’m off for a well deserved beer!