Now that the Cambrian rally has come and gone so I think it’s time to look back and reflect on the past rally and what lies ahead.
I went into this rally relaxed, I was just going to drive at a pace I was confortable with, collect some miles and try to get to grips with the new car. Matt and I went testing prior to the event were I was able to drive the car around and get a feel for the front wheel drive and the sequential gearbox, he gave me some helpful tips and after a bit of experimenting I was ready to head into the weekend.
George Gwynn went as my co-driver and I have to say that it was great to get back into the car with him after 3 years. He did a fantastic job on the notes and helped me to increase my confidence and pace with every stage.
It was a demanding event with a lot of narrow and rutted routs and changing surfaces, going from the Icelandic scenery and stages to the Welsh ones required a whole different driving style that I don't have much experience with. There was slippery mud which would drag you off the road if you took your lines to wide and there were cuts through the corners from previous cars that you had to follow with a self assured state of mind if you wanted to keep the car on the road.
The stages were a test on their own but getting to know the car proved to be the bigger learning curve. I have been used to driving four-wheel drive Mitsubishis and Subarus, common rally cars in Iceland but very different from the Fiesta R2. To begin with was it front wheel drive which requires you to drive different lines that don’t rely on torque to pull you out of the corner, you also have to be a lot more patient wen searching for traction when accelerating. This, coupled with the new gearbox, rev-happy engine and a lighter and smaller car makes it a tall list of things to learn. If there is one lesson I could take from this rally it’s that this year is going to be fun and filled with new experiences.
I like to thank my team for their efforts, Chris from C1-R did a great job at both preparing and maintaining the car through the rally and of course it ran faultlessly. The next event marks the beginning of the British Rally Championship, the Border Countries Rally in Scotland offering similar conditions from the Cambrian rally. Driving with me on that one will be Ísak Guðjónsson, a top level Icelandic co-driver from my home country, I can’t wait.
You can check out my run on SS7 Llin Elsi here, https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8t1Leet4Nqo&t=16s