Marshall takes on the World! [YORK] Highly promising York youngster Olly Marshall is just one week away from the biggest challenge of his relatively short rally career, as he contests Wales Rally GB, the final round of the World...
Marshall takes on the World!
[YORK] Highly promising York youngster Olly Marshall is just one week away from the biggest challenge of his relatively short rally career, as he contests Wales Rally GB, the final round of the World Rally Championship in Cardiff on November 6-9.
The 22 year old from Escrick takes his ProSpeed Motorsport run Peugeot 206 XS to the rally with support from Korean Tyre giant Kumho, who recently supported his efforts on the Bulldog Rally. In the forests of Mid Wales, the former British F2 Rally Champion finished second in class, and Welshpool co-driver Craig Parry will once again be calling the pace notes as Marshall contests his first ever World Rally Championship event after a disrupted season within the Peugeot 206 Super Cup.
Marshall began the year well, but broke his leg very badly in a freak workshop accident. After four months of painful rehabilitation, Marshall is now fully recovered from multiple fractures sustained in the incident, and is looking forward to the most challenging rally that he will ever have driven in.
18 special stages in the forests of South Wales over three days, 401 kilometres of fast, slippery, treacherous forest roads, and nearly 1600 kilometres of public road sections in between all add up to the ultimate stamina test for both body and mind for Olly and Craig.
A recent outing on the final round of the British Rally Championship and 206 Super Cup netted 5th in the Peugeot category, despite a minor incident with a picnic site sign! Marshall dropped into the lower reaches of the top ten after that incident, but fought back up the field to claim 5th on the Aldershot based Tempest Stages. With a week to go, the ProSpeed Motorsport MD feels ready for his newest rally experience:
"I'm really excited at the prospect of competing on the biggest rally in the UK for the first time, and it is also my debut on the World Rally Championship stage as well. Craig has competed on the rally before so that is a major bonus, and we've assembled a very experienced support team for the event, so I know that we have a very good team of people in place. I'm sure the event will be very hard work physically, with a lot of time in the car on each day. You are constantly on the go.
Its basically two British Rally Championship rounds within one, so that is an awful lot of driving! However, its the ultimate challenge in the sport, and I'm really looking forward to the whole experience. Its nice to have the opportunity to compete on the same stages as the likes of Richard Burns and Colin McRae, and I'm also pleased that we'll have excellent technical tyre support from Kumho for the event, which is very important on such a demanding rally in terms of tyre choice. The main thing is to go and enjoy the rally, and learn as much as possible. I very much hope that its an experience to remember!".
Marshall makes the journey from the team base in Sherburn-in-Elmet to Cardiff this Sunday, as he prepares to 'recce' the special stages before the rally proper gets underway. Once the recce is completed, Marshall's co-driver Craig Parry will become centre of attention for the day, as BBC Wales track his progress in a special feature on how a co-driver prepares for such an important rally.
The hectic lifestyle doesn't stop immediately after the rally for Marshall. He returns home to oversee the preparations for the final of the 2003 ProSpeed Motorsport Scholarship. After ten rounds of competition, the final will be judged by British Rally Champion Jonny Milner amongst others, as Marshall aims to find a driver worthy of a three car fully funded drive in the 2004 Peugeot 206 Winter Cup on November 14th.