Michael Guest Scores Points On European Tarmac Rally Debut Newcastle driver Michael Guest has finished in the world championship points with an impressive fourth place for the Winfield World Rally Team in the Catalunya Rally which finished in ...
Michael Guest Scores Points On European Tarmac Rally Debut
Newcastle driver Michael Guest has finished in the world championship points with an impressive fourth place for the Winfield World Rally Team in the Catalunya Rally which finished in Spain overnight.
In only his second appearance in a World Rally Championship (WRC) event, and his first on a specialist all-tarmac rally, Guest drove the Winfield Subaru to 26th overall and fifth in the FIA Teams Cup classification.
Guest's performance produced the best ever WRC result in a tarmac event for the Subaru factory in the showroom production (Group N) category. The outright winner was Frenchman Phillipe Bugalski in a formula two Citroen Xsara.
"I'm rapt," Guest said after completing the gruelling three day event which finished at Lloret de Mar on the Costa Brava north of Barcelona.
"Scoring points for the first time in a European rally, especially as I'd never competed on tarmac before, is one of the things I set out to do at the start of the season."
"But it was touch and go at the final main service point when the Winfield team mechanics replaced a power steering pump with just seconds to spare which meant I didn't get any time penalties.
"This result is down to a big effort from the team including my co-driver David Green in conditions that were totally foreign to us."
Guest drove a very clever final day, fast but safe, to overtake New Zealand rival Reece Jones for fifth place moving up one place from his overnight position after day two.
The final stages of the 1700 km rally were again watched by a huge and fanatical spectator turn-out with Guest one of just 57 finishers from 124 starters.
With his next three world championship events in Greece, New Zealand and China all on more traditional gravel stages Guest is aiming improve his position in the FIA Teams Cup competition.
"David and I will be much more at home on the gravel and while the Acropolis event in Greece is new to us we know China and New Zealand really well so this result in Catalunya is a good platform for the future," Guest said.
Guest is the first Australian rally driver to be given an opportunity for a full scale World Rally Championship campaign.
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