Third place in Wales!

Third place in Wales!

Once again, I’m writing to you after attending the press conference with Thierry, along with the top three drivers and co-pilots of this leg of the world rally championship. This bronze medal has a very particular significance for me as it was achieved at the Wales GB Rally, a proper “Old School” rally and one of my favourites. Our days there have been long and full filled, getting up before dawn (call it 4:00am) and working till late after dusk. Some transport stages were long, over 86 miles to reach the first special stage on Friday, where timed sections came one after another at a very steady pace. Between these sprints, crews barely have time to clean the windshield and check the tyre pressures before having to gear-up for what was next, not to mention the fact that no technical assistance was allowed at mid-day.

Our introduction to the race was not the easiest as we were certainly not comfortable in this drizzly, foggy and typically British weather. However, our confidence soon rose as we fine-tuned our settings and managed to step-up the tempo. Eventually, our Hyundai’s reliability and remarkable performances helped us win this long awaited bronze medal.

The three i20 WRC overcame all the pitfalls of this very hazardous and demanding race. Not all car manufacturers can boast that their cars see the finish line after so many miles of Welsh muddy tracks scattered with ruts and potholes…

This bronze medal allows us to secure our second place in the championship with 143 points, against 129 for Mikkelsen & Jaeger and 126 for our team mates Paddon and Kennard.
The next leg in Australia in three weeks will be as ever challenging as we’ll be second to depart, just behind the World Champions, which is always tricky on dusty tracks. I guess we’ll just have to get on with it and do our best…

Before setting off to Australia, I will enjoy a few well deserved days of rest. I will of course be in Huy on Friday to sign a few autographs ahead of the Condroz Rally 2016. I will make the most of this time to catch up with all the friends that I unfortunately don’t get to see as much as I would want to, before watching a few special stages with my family. This time, I’ll be watching from the side-lines… but not for long as a few hours later, I’ll be back in the seat for a new batch of test sessions with the Hyundai i20 WRC 2017.

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