Highly promising York youngster Olly Marshall makes a long awaited and very welcome return to rallying next weekend, as he contests the Ulster Rally, a round of the Peugeot 206 Super Cup. The 22 year old from Escrick broke his left leg in five...
Highly promising York youngster Olly Marshall makes a long awaited and very welcome return to rallying next weekend, as he contests the Ulster Rally, a round of the Peugeot 206 Super Cup.
The 22 year old from Escrick broke his left leg in five places after a freak accident in his workshop. Now recovered from the injuries sustained, the rapid Yorkshireman is looking forward to returning to the sport in his own ProSpeed Motorsport run Peugeot 206. Marshall will be co-driven by regular partner, Welshpool's Craig Parry.
Marshall had planned an ambitious programme of events for 2003, as he looked to gain the maximum amount of stage mileage as possible in a packed calendar. The accident ruled him out of the Peugeot one make championship from the Pirelli Rally onwards, but now fit again and feeling that his leg is strong enough, Olly is looking forward to a return to competitive action.
The Yorkshireman could not have picked a tougher event to return to. The Ulster Rally uses closed public roads in Northern Ireland near to the rally base in Armagh. The Ulster lanes are less than forgiving at the best of times. Often wet and muddy, the lanes tend to be fast and very bumpy, with many blind crests and jumps along the way. Marshall will not be operating a gung ho policy on his return to the stages though, as he explained:
"First of all, its great to be in the position that I can actually enter the event! My leg is getting stronger all the time at the moment. I still cannot run, but that is the only limitation I do have. To be honest, I'm not sure how the leg will stand up to the job of driving again, but I'm having to adopt a sensible approach to the rally. I'm not going to go there with the intentions of being on the pace. I just want to ease myself back into the sport gently. I've had the all clear from the doctor so I just hope that everything goes ok on the event. Its certainly been very frustrating sitting on the sidelines for the past few months".
Frustrating it may have been, but Marshall has been kept very busy in his time off from driving duties. Aside from running up to two cars on events in between, the ProSpeed Motorsport Scholarship has been extremely busy over the summer months. With a prize of driving a fully subsidised Peugeot 206 Super Cup car in next season's Winter Cup up for grabs, interest in the scholarship has been tremendous.
With the final for the competition being judged by none other than British Rally Champion and fellow Yorkshire resident Jonny Milner, Marshall is delighted with the progress of his own initiative:
"Finding the right way to get into the sport is very difficult I have found. There is advice on offer - but everyone has their own views, so it can be difficult to know what to do for the best. As a result of my experience starting out in the sport (and I'm still learning every day!), I put the ProSpeed Scholarship together at the beginning of the year and its been a very worthwhile exercise. The standard of drivers has been excellent and the final is going to be of the highest quality. I'm sure that the winner will be an extremely worthy one."