Stephen Wright continued his impressive 2015 season with a podium finish in the Sezoens Rally in Belgium this weekend in his Ford Fiesta R5. Wright, who spent much of 2014 competing in Belgium, was making his first continental appearance of 2015 and was delighted to secure 3rd place among a competitive field with co-driver, Eddy Smeets.
Speaking after the event Stephen said; “I was delighted I was able to build upon my experience of the Belgian Championship last year and Eddy did a great job on the pacenotes. The Sezoens Rally is incredibly challenging as a third of the event takes places on loose surfaces but we adapted to the conditions really well and were delighted with our pace.”
Stephen’s pace was all the more impressive as the team detected a leak in the intercooler of the Ford Fiesta. Stephen continues; “All the guys in service did a great job to cure the issue and this result would not have been possible without them. Our pace increased as the day went on and to take a second fastest time on the penultimate stage was a great illustration of how we progressed throughout the rally. To share a podium with a driver like Freddy Loix is a great feeling and I was delighted to deliver a result for our Belgian sponsors who supported us for this event.”
Stephen received backing for the Sezoens Rally from iTheses, FloorOffice, Ixina Lommel & Bree, Garage Bart Hellings, Opglabbeek, and HC Containers who joined regular sponsors, the Killyhevlin Hotel, Wright Concrete Products, Team BDS and Lafarge Tarmac.Read more →
Stephen Wright has secured additional sponsorship ahead of his outing on the Sezoens Rally this weekend. Belgian software firm iTheses have pledged support to Wright who will team up with Belgian co-driver Eddy Smeets for the event. iTheses are an AutoDesk Gold partner who develop and sell software for construction, infrastructure and geographic information systems and will be promoting their FloorOffice package on Stephen’s Ford Fiesta R5.
Stephen is naturally delighted that iTheses and FloorOffice have come on board along with Belgian kitchen company, Ixina Lommel Bree, Garage Bart Hellings, Opglabbeek and HC Containers who will join regular sponsors, the Killyhevlin Hotel, Wright Concrete Products, Team BDS and Lafarge Tarmac. Speaking ahead of the weekend Stephen said; “Competing abroad is a costly exercise and I’m extremely grateful to Eddy who has been a tremendous help in securing Belgian backing for the Sezoens Rally. Without them this weekend would have been impossible. I’m looking forward to the weekend and hoping for a good performance.”Read more →
Stephen Wright has set his sights on a last minute return to the Belgian Rally Championship for the Sezoens Rally on the 16th of May. Stephen will pair up with Belgian co-pilot, Eddy Smeets and the international combination expect to gel quickly for this one-off appearance
Speaking this week Stephen said “I teamed up with Eddy last year for a pre-event shakedown and I was very impressed with his knowledge and ability to adapt quickly to my style of pacenotes. We never quite got the opportunity to compete together but he has worked very hard to attract some local support for what is his local event so it was too good an opportunity to miss.”
Although Stephen made the trip to Belgium on 6 occasions last year, this will be his first attempt at the Sezoens Rally. The event features 15 stages in a single day and consists of 28% gravel surface. As if this wasn’t challenging enough, the former Motorsport Ireland Young Rally Driver of the Year will line up against Belgian hot-shots such as Freddy Loix, Kris Princen and Vincent Verschuren.
“We faced some tough local opposition in the R2 category last year and we proved by the end of the season that we were capable of mixing it with the best. Although competing in the top tier against household names is a daunting prospect, I’m looking forward to the challenge and seeing how high we can climb the leaderboard.”
The Wright Motorsport team welcome on board new sponsors for the event in the form of Belgian kitchen company, Ixina Lommel Bree and Garage Bart Hellings, Opglabbeek who will join regular sponsors, the Killyhevlin Hotel, Wright Concrete Products, Team BDS and Lafarge Tarmac.Read more →
Ford Fiesta R5 driver Stephen Wright suffered a mixed event on his first outing in the European Rally Championship since last June. Stephen, and co-driver Mikie Galvin’s encouraging start on the first day of the Circuit of Ireland was tempered with a small excursion on the final day of the rally which forced the former Motorsport Ireland Young Rally Driver of the Year to retire.
Speaking after the event Stephen said; “We were surprised with our times on the opening day. It took us some time to adjust to the control tire and we drove well within ourselves in tricky conditions but to by lying 6th overnight in such a competitive field on only our second proper rally in the R5 Fiesta was a great feeling.”
Early on day two though, Stephen and Mikie ran into difficulty. “I dropped my concentration for a split second and got caught out on some loose gravel, running wide and clipping a tree – right in front of the Eurosport helicopter camera! The damage was not severe, but enough to put us out of the event. We were having a great battle for 5th place with Sam Moffett and Euan Thorburn so it was disappointing to miss out on a potentially great result. It was such a shame as the team put in a huge effort in the weeks running up to the event to ensure the car was at its best and it would have been nice to repay them with a result but we have to be pleased with our pace and hopefully it’s a sign of better things to come.”
Next up for Stephen is his local event, the Monaghan Stages Rally, in just three weeks’ time. Despite being his home rally, Stephen has only done it once in the last six years but it’s still a rally he is really looking forward to. “The event is likely to attract a top class entry but hopefully we can turn out a good result in front of the home crowd” said Stephen this week.
You can keep up to date with Stephen and Mikie over the season by following them on Twitter @StephenWr1ght and @GalvinMikie. Stephen is competing this season with the support of the Killyhevlin Hotel and Health Club, Spanwright and Lafarge Tarmac.Read more →
“Having spent most of last year competing abroad I am fully aware of how hard the European Championship regulars will be pushing on the Circuit,” said Stephen ahead of this weekend’s event. “It’s unlikely on just our second event that we’ll be pushing the front runners but it is also not every day that you get an opportunity to race at the top flight of the ERC so hopefully when we get settled in we can punch in some good times. These event require a different level of preparation and everyone has been working really hard so we’re all now looking forward to getting started! I was delighted with how the car performed in West Cork.”
After qualifying and a ceremonial start on Thursday evening, the Circuit of Ireland starts on Good Friday morning where the crews will tackle 18 stages over 2 days with the winners returning eventually to Belfast’s Titantic Quarter at 6.35pm on Saturday. With a number of spectator stages laid on by the organisers it will be great chance for the public to see the stars and their cars up close. It’s something Stephen is keen to point out. “It was really noticeable how the wider public showed an interest in the Circuit of Ireland last year, the crowds were fantastic. Hopefully this year the event can raise the bar even higher.”
You can keep up to date with Stephen and Mikie over the weekend by following them on Twitter @StephenWr1ght and @GalvinMikie. Stephen is competing this season with the support of the Killyhevlin Hotel and Health Club, Spanwright and Lafarge Tarmac.Read more →