Phillip Morrow docked points for co-driver gaffe
Published 28/08/2008 | 09:48
Phillip Morrow’s efforts for the TEG Sport Subaru team have been in vain.
The points the young Lisburn driver scored for Atlas TEG Sport in the British championship’s teams’ competition on last weekend’s Ulster Rally have been discounted after it emerged that Morrow’s co-driver Gordon Noble wasn’t registered in time.
Morrow had been driving for Mitsubishi in the British series but after crashing on the two previous rounds, he was axed and replaced by Welsh veteran Gwyndaf Evans for the Ulster event.
But Morrow was then snapped up by TEG Sport to drive alongside three-times British champion Mark Higgins to boost their challenge in the hotly-contested teams’ championship.
And despite it being his first time in a Subaru, Morrow finished eighth overall and fourth best of the British contingent, as well as winning the Pirelli Star Driver award, to help Higgins increase TEG Sport’s lead at the top of the teams’ competition by 15 points.
In the official press release immediately after the rally TEG Sport were shown to have 132 points, and they led by 13 from another Subaru team, TQ.com, with Mitsubishi third on 113.
However, revised figures have now been published showing TEG Sport back in second place on 117, four behind TQ.com and four ahead of Mitsubishi with three counting rounds remaining.
ritish championship manager Mark Taylor explained that both members of the crew, driver and co-driver, have to be registered to score teams’ points. “We became aware the day after the rally that Phillip Morrow’s co-driver, Gordon Noble, was not registered and therefore they were ineligible to score points,” he said.
Noble, a highly-experienced co-driver, has not been competing this year because of commitments to his role as clerk of the course for the Irish round of the World championship, Rally Ireland.
He had agreed to step in to replace Morrow’s regular co-driver Daniel Barritt who was on his way to New Zealand for this weekend’s World championship event.
“It was an oversight and when we realised the situation we tried to get Gordon registered but apparently it didn’t happen in time,” said a disappointed Morrow.
It is another blow to TEG Sport whose third driver, Wyn Humphreys, had his car stolen from the team’s Dungannon hotel on the eve of the rally. The drivers’ championship remains unaffected with winner Higgins closing to within two points of his brother David with Mitsubishi No.1 Guy Wilks a four points.