Fifth for Marshall on Trackrod Rally. 22 year old York rally driver Olly Marshall was in good form on this weekend's Trackrod Rally Yorkshire, as he increased his pace throughout the two day event to claim a well earned 5th overall in the...
Fifth for Marshall on Trackrod Rally.
22 year old York rally driver Olly Marshall was in good form on this weekend's Trackrod Rally Yorkshire, as he increased his pace throughout the two day event to claim a well earned 5th overall in the Peugeot 206 Super Cup.
With Welshpool's Craig Parry alongside, Marshall was looking to improve on his recent 7th place on the Ulster Rally. Home advantage in the Yorkshire forests was the perfect tonic for the ProSpeed Motorsport driver, and he settled into a steady early pace on the opening day.
The Malton based rally was Marshall's first gravel rally since his leg injury early in the season, so the Escrick driver spent the first few stages getting used to the demands of driving flat out on gravel again. 10th after the first visit to Gale Rigg, Marshall increased his pace on Saturday afternoon to move into 6th place at one point. Just a handful of seconds separated fourth to eighth in the ultra competitive series in a frenetic battle for points on the opening day.
Day two saw bright sunshine over the North Yorkshire Moors, and Marshall was immediately into his stride with 2nd fastest in Pike Hill and another good time in Langdale. The Peugeot 206 was running faultlessly as Olly set another excellent time on the Pickering Showground stage to claim 6th. Another strong time on the penultimate Housedale stage would see the Yorkshireman just 0.8 of a second from claiming fourth. However, the Yorkshire forests had a sting in the tail, as Marshall explained:
"We were going very well in the final stage, and I was confident that we could have grabbed fourth from Gareth McHale and Sebastian Ling, who were tied on time. Unfortunately for us, a very good stage became a frustrating one when we hit a huge pothole around three miles from the end. The force of the impact pushed the wheel back within the wheel arch, and as a result of the damage, I couldn't select 6th gear. Normally this wouldn't be a problem in most forests, but the final two miles of the stage were absolutely flat to the boards in terms of speed - so we had to sit in the rev limiter in 5th gear. It was extremely frustrating and must have cost us around 10-12 seconds.
Aside from that, the weekend went extremely well, and we were consistently in and around the Top 4 stage times on the final day, which is pleasing. We were also able to take time out of our rivals ahead of us in the process, so I'm very satisfied with 5th overall after some super fast home stages!"
Marshall's next outing is the Bulldog Rally on October 17th. The Shrewsbury based round of the Kumho National Rally Championship uses the classic Mid Wales forests, and will be ideal preparation for Marshall and Parry's plans to contest the Wales Rally GB in November. Olly is still waiting to hear if his entry for the British round of the World Rally Championship is likely to be accepted.