Twenty Two year old Chris Wheeler from Torquay may still be recovering from his major accident on the Nicky Grist 100 Rally, but since then the British Rally Championship have had their next stop on the calendar in Ireland for the Ulster Rally. BRC 3 competitor Will Corrow may have won the class in Ireland but has put Wheeler's main rival out of contention in the championship meaning Wheeler has now claimed this years BRC 3 category, there is just one event remaining which is held on the Isle Of Man but Wheeler is now too far in front to be caught.
Chris suffered a major accident nearly two months back due to a mechanical failure on his Citroen DS3 R3T which sent Wheeler & Co-Driver Yan Griffiths off the road & head on into a tree resulting in major injuries. We are glad to say the crew have walked away & will be able to come back fighting another day but both of them are now healing well & making good progress.
Wheeler quoted " After such a big accident it'll now take time for us to heal & also the car too. The car is currently being rebuilt so my plans for 2017 will be to do some smaller events just to build my confidence up & then once the DS3 is ready I'll be back into the hot seat. I'm looking to start taking it serious once again from 2018 on wards.
I am very surprised but incredibly happy we have claimed this years BRC 3 title considering it's been a up & down season but never the less I'll enjoy this moment & am proud to bring home a great result to Devon.
Chris Wheeler Rallying would like to say a massive thank you to all of their sponsors & to everyone who has been supporting them this season.
Pirelli Carlisle Rally
With only 5 hours testing in the new car, the Pirelli Rally would be a tough rally for Chris & Yan. With the 4 stages on day 1 proving that the car wasn’t handling right and seemed to be stepping out at the back end, the service crew had 45 minutes to change the set up on the car for day 2.
Day 2 seemed to be a bit better with the car not stepping out as much as the previous day, with tricky, narrow stages and wet and misty conditions Chris and Yan just wanted to get the car to the finish and get valuable seat time in the car.
At the end of this rally Chris and Yan came 1st in Class in BRC3 and 2nd in class for BRC2 (Which they got amalgamated into) and they received an award and a champagne celebration.
RSAC Scottish Rally
This is one of the roughest events on the calendar meaning man & machine take on a very fast & bumpy ride over a very abrasive gravel surface. For this event we played our joker round meaning wherever we finished our points would be doubled, a great opportunity to take the championship lead.
Eight stages laid ahead, 65 competitive stage miles through the forests with massive drops & ditches either side & big rocks on the stages which could all cause big damage, keeping the car on the road & staying out of trouble would be the aim for us.
On the previous event the car had massive handling issues so not only is this our first time driving the car in eight weeks but also the first time driving the car at full pace. As each stage went by the pace increased & the times started coming together, climbing up the leader board.
After all eight stages we ended up 1st in BRC 3 & 55th Overall out of 140 competitors.
On day two of the Nicky Grist Stages 100, the driveshaft snapped causing Chris and Yan to veer off of the road and crash into the trees at over 90mph. This resulted in both Chris and Yan being rushed to hospital and the car being completely destroyed.
Chris received a broken knee cap, internal bleeding to the knee and internal bruising to his back and chest. He is still awaiting MRI scans to see if he will need an operation on his knee to drain the bleeding. Yan received a broken lower vertabrae and is now in a cast for the foreseeable future.
This unfortunately saw an end to Chris and Yans season in the BRC.