Peter van Merksteijn jr. ready for season closing WRC Wales Rally GB
Peter van Merksteijn jr. and co-driver Erwin Mombaerts will close the 2011 World Rally Championship season this week during the WRC Wales Rally GB. The Van Merksteijn Motorsport driver will appear in his Citroën DS3 WRC for the first time in a World Rally Car at the start of this tough and difficult event through the Welsh forests.
WRC Wales Rally GB is traditionally the closing event of the annual WRC calendar and because of it taking place late in the year, weather conditions are a deciding factor in the outcome of the rally. Fog, low temperatures, rain and the occasional snow transform the surface of the nice roads the the Welsh scenery into mud making this one of the toughest events of the season for the cars. In addition, the itinerary has long liaisons back to the service to get the cars repaired after completing the demanding special stages.
In preparing for the WRC wales Rally GB, Peter jr. completed an extensive test with the Citroën DS3 WRC last week. Together with the technicians of PH Sport, they have worked on the setup of the car and managed to book a lot of progress. For various circumstances that can occur in Wales a setup for the car has been found so it will react in the preferred way for Peter jr.
It will be the second time in Peter van Merksteijn jr.’s career that he will take part in the Wales Rally GB. In 2007, immediately after winning the Dutch group N championship, he drove for the first time in Wales when the stages were located in the Swansea area. Only two special stages from 2007 are included in this year’s edition so it will be a big task for Peter jr. and Erwin to make completely new pacenotes during the reconnaissance.
The start of the Wales Rally GB will take place in the north of Wales on Thursday afternoon when three stages will take place in the area of LLandudno. Friday and Saturday the cars will stay in the northwest of Wales for 14 stages despite that the cars will have to drive back to Cardiff for the overnight parking. Sunday will see six more stages on the schedule after which the finish will be in Cardiff. In total the entrants will have completed almost 1900 kilometer of which 350 kilometers on the 23 special stages.