This weekend saw a pair of second place finishes for cars prepared by MML Sports; Jaspreet ‘Jassi’ Chatthe finished second on the Zambia International Rally, the third round of the FIA African Rally Championship in the Team Kibos Group N Mitsubishi Lancer EvolutionX while Tristan Bailey was second on the TSH Stages rally in the UK, at the wheel of his Mitsubishi Lancer WRC04.
Zambia was the third round of the ARC but the second for Team Kibos using the brand new Group N EvoX built by MML Sports at its UK workshop. The first outing showed potential but this second event demonstrated not on the car’s pace and strength but also, Chatthe’s speed.
Zambian Mohammed Essa set the initial pace and led from the front, with Chatthe establishing a conservative pace that would reward him with valuable points towards the 2014 ARC title, having missed the first round. As it was, Essa went on to win the event with Chatthe second, just 2m38s adrift of the 2013 ARC champion.
However, more important was his and co-driver David Sihoka’s finish ahead of Gary Chaynes, the ARC title leader so far, by more than two minutes and improving their overall standing by one place, to hold third after three rounds.
While the team was in action in Zambia, Tristan Bailey was also in action, this time on the TSH stages rally at RAF Portreath in Cornwall. Bailey and co-driver James How gradually increased their pace after several months out of the car and by the end of the event, had set three fastest times after a thrilling battle with the Subaru World Rally Car of Steve and Yvonne Furzeland.
By the end of the rally, Bailey and How were second to Furzeland, trailing by just 1m40s after 14 stages.
Commenting, MML Sports Managing Director, John Easton said; “This was a good weekend for us and our customers. Jassi went really well in the EvoX and is getting quicker as he gets more used to the car. He hadn’t done this event in Zambia before and I am really pleased with the way he approached it and the result.
“The pace was also really good. He had a couple of joint fastest stage times with Essa which is excellent, considering it is Essa’s local event and Jassi’s first time. We had no problems with the car at all which is also very encouraging, considering many other crews had issues and there were a lot of retirements.
“I’m also pleased to see Tristan back in action and at the front of the field. He has been out of the car for a little while but clearly is settling back in well and I’m sure it won’t be long before we see another win from him.”