Marshall boxes clever to 8th in Turkey 23 year old York rally driver Olly Marshall completed an incident packed Rally of Turkey to finish 8th in the Junior World Rally Championship points scoring tables -- and moved to joint 9th in the ...
Marshall boxes clever to 8th in Turkey
23 year old York rally driver Olly Marshall completed an incident packed Rally of Turkey to finish 8th in the Junior World Rally Championship points scoring tables -- and moved to joint 9th in the standings after three rounds of the frenetically paced series for Super 1600 cars.
After a strong showing on the recent Acropolis Rally in Greece, where Marshall and Welsh co-driver Craig Parry scored their first ever JWRC points by scoring a fine 5th place on the event, Olly headed to the resort town of Kemer in southern Turkey in confident mood.
The ProSpeed Motorsport duo had a simple strategy for the three day rally - to finish another tough event and hopefully, score more JWRC points in the process in their Renault Clio Super 1600, built and maintained by Marshall's own ProSpeed concern.
Problems hit the team before the rally had even started -- when a driveshaft broke on the Shakedown stage used as a test stage for the rally. After quickly rectifying the problem, the team got the Clio to the start of the rally just in time, and Marshall was able to complete the spectator friendly Super Special stage in Antalya without problem, despite getting off to a slow start.
Friday morning would see the rally begin properly, and Marshall was immediately inside the Top 10 of the 20 JWRC entrants on the rally. Holding a strong eighth after a couple of stages, Marshall was again to encounter a multitude of problems in the incredible heat of the Turkish summer. The differential on the car was beginning to wilt in the heat, and Olly also had a double puncture on one stage. A cracked windscreen was also making visibility difficult in the glaring sunshine, and Marshall soon found himself dropping to 12th by the end of the Friday leg of stages.
With a new screen fitted at the end of leg service, more concern was given to the troublesome differential in the car, and sure enough, the team's worst fears were realised just a handful of stages later, when Marshall reported over the radio that the gearbox was rapidly failing on the Clio. After loaning a gearbox from fellow Renault team RMS, the ProSpeed mechanics worked wonders to restore the Clio to full health in just 28 minutes.
With so much time lost, it was going to be a long and lonely fight to the end for Olly and Craig as the stage conditions worsened, and punctures began to cause problems. Marshall left one stage with three punctures on the Clio, and with only a limited number of tyres available, choices were becoming harder as the event wore on. Marshall benefited from the retirements of others during the Saturday leg as he moved close to 8th in the standings -- and one championship point. Sure enough, the attrition was high enough for Marshall to claim 8th in the standings by the event -- after an event that everyone in the ProSpeed Motorsport team will remember.
Marshall's next outing is on the Rallye Bohemia in Czech Republic next weekend. The three day tarmac event forms part of the European Rally Championship, and Marshall is using the event as a test ahead of the Rallye Catalunya later in the year.