South coast rally driver Steve Hendy battled blistering heat, torrential rain and thunderstorms to finish as the top overseas contender in the weekend’s Exotic Green Rally.
Hendy and co-driver Aled Davies finished seventh overall in the tough two day event with the Hendy Group Focus RS never missing a beat and the Hankook tyres coping with the most extreme of weather conditions.
“It was a long, tough rally and probably the hardest I have ever contested,’’ said Hendy. “There were around 150 competitive miles over Friday evening and a long day on Saturday and we certainly felt like we had done a serious event.’’
The pair started steadily in the Hankook-shod Focus WRC and were lying just outside the top ten at the end of the first leg. “We knew it was going to be a long hard rally and I wanted to ensure we could go the distance,’’ said Steve. “As temperatures rose the conditions were incredibly hot inside the car.’’
He said the Focus performed brilliantly throughout the event and Hendy paid tribute to the Hankook tyres which had been used by IRC driver Andreas Mikkelsen on the recent Ypres Rally.
“The grip was amazing and even in such hot conditions the wear and tear on the tyres was extremely low.’’
Rally organisers ensured crews were well hydrated at the end of each stage and fed at every regroup and service, something Steve said really helped the pair maintain their focus during the event.
“We thought the sun and heat were bad enough but towards the end of the second day there were thunderstorms and the skies were black. It wasn’t ideal being on slick tyres which were perfect for when we left service and no light pod made visibility impossible.’’
Organisers eventually cancelled the final three stages leaving Hendy delighted to be seventh overall after a tough test for crew and car.
Pictured: Steve Hendy
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