Monte Carlo or Bust for Junior World Rally debutant Marshall. Tuesday 13 January 2003 - [York] Talented Yorkshire rally driver Olly Marshall has signed up to contest the 2004 Junior World Rally Championship, and the 23 year old will tackle ...
Monte Carlo or Bust for Junior World Rally debutant Marshall.
Tuesday 13 January 2003 - [York] Talented Yorkshire rally driver Olly Marshall has signed up to contest the 2004 Junior World Rally Championship, and the 23 year old will tackle arguably the most famous rally in the world next weekend - The Monte Carlo Rally on January 23-25.
Marshall, the MD of ProSpeed Motorsport, a York based preparation company, will contest the category for drivers under the age of 27 that runs within the FIA World Rally Championship this year. The seven event calendar includes rallies in Turkey, Finland, Spain, Italy, Greece, and Wales, with both all tarmac and all gravel rallies included as part of the series. Marshall will be co-driven on all rounds by 24 year old Welshman Craig Parry, from Oswestry, as the pair look to gain experience of the Junior World Championship events.
York based Olly recently purchased a brand new Renault Clio Super 1600 car for the championship that is open to front wheel drive, 1600cc rally cars, specially designed for the series. The Renault Clio S1600 is currently regarded as the leading car in the field, and although Marshall is running his car privately through his own Yorkshire based team, he is receiving excellent technical and engineering support from Renault Sport in France.
Competition in the Junior World Rally Championship will be intense for Marshall. A four car works team from Suzuki will pose the strongest challenge, along with manufacturer endorsed entries from Renault, Ford, Fiat, Opel and MG, with the cream of young European and World Rallying talent behind the wheel of the cars. Olly will be one of a handful of young British drivers taking part.
The former Peugeot 206 Super Cup competitor and Formula 2 Class Champion in the 2002 British Rally Championship is looking forward to contesting such a prestigious rally:
"Challenges in rallying don't come much bigger than the Monte Carlo Rally. The tarmac roads can be a mixture of dry tarmac, wet tarmac, ice, black ice, and blanket snow - and that could be in one stage! Obviously you hear about the world famous stages like Col de Turini and how technically difficult the event is with tyre choice so crucial.
Its an awful lot to take in at the first attempt, but we go there with an open mind and a game plan. We just want to finish the rally and gain the maximum amount of experience from the event, and from the new Renault Clio S1600 car. It would be foolish to predict otherwise on one of the most specialised rallies in the world".
Marshall has had little time to test the recently built Clio ahead of the French classic that uses the hilly tarmac stages in the mountains north of the Riviera. Olly will only get one full days testing on tarmac in the 'pocket rocket' before the event, which runs over three tough days in the mountains. With Colin McRae no longer driving in the World Rally Championship and Richard Burns recovering from a brain tumour, Marshall is one of the few candidates vying to join the likes of Marcus Gronholm, Petter Solberg and Carlos Sainz as works drivers within the World Rally Championship of the future.