Talented York based rally driver Olly Marshall heads back north to Gateshead next weekend, as he contests the second round of the Peugeot 206 Super Cup, the Pirelli National Rally, with Welshpool's Craig Parry on the pace notes alongside ...
Talented York based rally driver Olly Marshall heads back north to Gateshead next weekend, as he contests the second round of the Peugeot 206 Super Cup, the Pirelli National Rally, with Welshpool's Craig Parry on the pace notes alongside him.
Marshall had been flying on the opening round, the Border Counties Rally, also held in the Kielder Forest on the Scottish Borders. Fastest time on the fourth stage of the event was in indication of the pace that the pair have in the highly competitive series. Marshall finished the day in 6th after an error on the final stage dropped him some time. Olly had been set for a podium spot until he slid wide on a tight corner and stalled the car.
Olly and Craig's preparations for the Kielder event were also boosted by a strong performance on last weekend's Astra Stages in North Wales. The ProSpeed Motorsport team finished second in Class A6 behind the considerably more powerful Renault Clio S1600 car of former British Champion Mark Higgins. Olly was right in the midst of a throng of 4wd cars better suited to the rough forestry roads.
With the Peugeot 206 leaving Wales relatively unscathed, attention now turns to the challenges of Pundershaw, Harwood and Chirdonhead - fearsome forest tests that demand the ultimate in respect. 2002 Class A7 British Rally Championship winner Marshall admits that its a tough challenge, but one the team is eager to face again:
"Finishing 6th in the Peugeot 206 Super Cup on the Border Counties was a little bit disappointing in retrospect" Olly quipped. "We'd been competitive for the whole day, setting an excellent fastest time on the 4th stage to move into a strong podium position.
The championship is SO competitive that a small mistake on the final stage, where we only lost around 9 seconds, was enough to demote us to sixth! I think it says a lot for the strength of the opposition in the series, but it also showed that we are quick enough to feature at the sharp end of the time sheets as well.
I'm going there to keep learning, keep building up my experience, and hopefully get amongst the leaders if possible. It will be a tough event, the night stages could make quite a difference, so its important to be ready for them and all the challenges on offer."
In a seemingly never ending year of rallying, no sooner has Olly finished in Gateshead then he will begin the journey to Norway for the Sorland Rally, a round of the Norwegian Peugeot Championship. Closer to home, The Pirelli National Rally starts from Gateshead on Friday April 25th and finishes the following day.