TEENAGE rally driver Tom Delaney was forced to retire at the latest round of the Suzuki Swift One Championship at the weekend.
Leading the way after the first three rounds, the Droitwich Spa ace was holding on to a narrow lead but it all came to nothing at the Abingdon Carnival Rally on Sunday.
After the first stage, Delaney picked up a puncture and whilst nursing the car to the finish line, he caught a pot hole which unfortunately broke a steering arm.
This resulted in instant retirement.
Delaney said: “It was bad to get a puncture on the first stage but we did not have too far to go so I tried to get the car through slowly.
“Unfortunately we clipped a pot hole right in the middle of the road and that put us out on the spot.
“The only good thing is that it happened right in front of my dad so he saw it all.”
Delaney’s father Dominic added: “Tom was really unlucky. Lots of people hit the same pot hole and quite a few suffered wheel and suspension damage.
“Unluckily for Tom he did not have the luxury of a tyre on the rim so as he caught the pothole there was nothing to absorb the shock, hence the load went straight into the suspension arm and it failed.
“He did not make a mistake but paid a high price for what was really down to bad luck.”
The only good news for Delaney was his main rival in the standings, Zak Hughes from Welshpool, retired with transmission failure.
The next round of the championship is at the Harry Flatters Rally on the tarmac roads on the Epynt military ranges in late July.