Olly Marshall had an eventful outing on the Border Counties Rally on March 22nd, as he claimed 6th in the ultra competitive Peugeot 206 Super Cup after a tough days driving in the Scottish borders. York based Marshall was partnered by Welshpool...
Olly Marshall had an eventful outing on the Border Counties Rally on March 22nd, as he claimed 6th in the ultra competitive Peugeot 206 Super Cup after a tough days driving in the Scottish borders.
York based Marshall was partnered by Welshpool co-driver Craig Parry in the Prospeed Motorsport run Peugeot 206. After a strong outing on the recent Tour of Epynt in their 206, the team were looking to build on that confidence as they faced six stages in the Kielder Forest, with the rally base in the town of Jedburgh.
With only a handful of seconds covering the top ten Peugeot's after stage two, Olly dropped a small amount of time in the third stage, Pundershaw, and dropped down the order to eighth. Incredibly, Marshall was only 15 seconds off the overall lead at this point.
Incensed by his performance on the third stage, Marshall had the bit between his teeth for the fourth, and claimed fastest 206 time on the stage by four seconds, moving him back up the leaderboard, just seven seconds off the lead.
Olly and Craig kept the hammer down into the penultimate stage as well, as they moved into a podium position in third, with the chasing pack hot on their heels close behind. Going into the final stage, Marshall was determined to keep his third placing, but it all went wrong on the same square right that cost Richard Sykes the 206 win, as Olly dropped 9 seconds with an overshoot and an engine stall:
"It was very disappointing to lose such a large chunk of time on that stage" said a dismayed Olly at the finish. "Up until then, we'd shown that we were bang on the pace of the others, and apart from a couple of small mistakes, not helped by our unfamiliarity with the organisers route notes, we were very happy with our performance. Our time on Stage 4 was great, as everything felt good in that stage and its important to be able to set fastest times when the competition is so close.
There are few championships around where nine seconds can mean the difference between a 3rd and a 6th, but if I'm really honest I didn't think I'd driven the final stage that well in the early part, and perhaps I was trying just a little bit too hard towards the end, hence the mistake. However, you learn from these things and overall I'm very pleased with my performance today as a whole, and I take heart from us being so close to the established boys for the whole of the day."
Marshall and Parry will be contesting the Vauxhall Astra Stages next, as they continue their all out assault on building up as much mileage and experience in the Peugeot 206 as they can ahead of round two of the 206 Super Cup, the Pirelli Rally, on April 26/27 in Gateshead.