York rally driver Olly Marshall gets his Peugeot 206 Super Cup campaign underway next weekend, as he tackles the fearsome Kielder forest and the Border Counties Rally, based in Jedburgh. Partnered by highly rated Welshpool based co-driver Craig...
York rally driver Olly Marshall gets his Peugeot 206 Super Cup campaign underway next weekend, as he tackles the fearsome Kielder forest and the Border Counties Rally, based in Jedburgh.
Partnered by highly rated Welshpool based co-driver Craig Parry, the pair would have been contesting the Wrexham Rally as part of the Rally of Wales on the same weekend. Unfortunately, with the Rally of Wales being forced to cancel due to a shortage of entries, the Peugeot management switched to the second round of the Scottish Rally Championship instead.
A disappointing outing on the recent Rallye Sunseeker, a round of the Peugeot 206 Winter Cup, has given the 22 year old Escrick driver renewed impetus ahead of the first 206 Super Cup round, combined with trip to the world renowned John Haugland Ice Driving School in Norway.
The Prospeed Motorsport run 2002 Class A7 British Rally Champion did not settle into the unique challenges of the Bournemouth based event, so is looking forward to the Border Counties after enjoying his brief run through the Kielder forest on last year's Pirelli International Rally. The Pirelli event is also the second round of the Peugeot series for 2003.
Border Counties will signal the start of a heavy programme for Olly and Craig in 2003. Aside from the rigours of competing in the UK's toughest one make challenge, the pair will also be contesting as many suitable events as possible in between rounds to gain experience. Towards the end of the season, Marshall will also try his hand overseas, as he looks to contest five rounds of the World Rally Championship in an ambitious year for the Prospeed Motorsport run driver;
"Not going to Wales is a shame, but I enjoy the challenges of Kielder so I'm already looking forward to that. The Winter Cup gave me some valuable time in the car ahead of the Peugeot 206 Super Cup, so I'd like to think that I have an understanding of what the 206 is capable of now. I only did four stages in Kielder last year, so I have some idea of what the stages going to be like. Its a fair difference going from an ex-works kit car to the 206 in Cup specification, but we'll just have to see how it goes.
I'm not going to the Border Counties to set the world alight. I'm going there to drive my own rally and see how I get on. The most important thing at this stage is to get a solid start with points on the table. Kielder is well known for trapping the unwary and you never know what will happen with so many drivers pushing to the limit. Its the start of a long year for myself and Craig, so I'm hopeful that we can get a good finish to give us a good kick-start for the remainder of the year."
Marshall and Parry will contest the Tour of Epynt in South Wales on March 16th. Olly admits to being well down on tarmac practice, and with Craig knowing the military roads of the Brecon Beacons well from previous attempts on the venue, the pair will be looking for a positive learning experience ahead of their trip north to Scotland.