The Hendy Motorsport team was relieved to hold on to a 3rd place result on Rally Bethune at the weekend, after a drama-packed event from start to finish.
On the pre-event test on the Friday afternoon, the turbo failed, leaving the 350 horse power Focus WRC "powerless". Not being a part generally carried as a spare, the team of mechanics set to work on stripping and rebuilding the turbocharger with the internal workings of a spare unit donated by another British team running a Hyundai Accent WRC. Both teams worked together on the strip and rebuild process of both units and, as a result, the team of Steve Hendy and Aled Davies were able to start the event on the Saturday morning.
The conditions on the Saturday morning stages were slippery and wet, and on the second stage of the day, a spin cost the team dearly as they became wedged in the road. The resultant time loss of 25-seconds put the team in 5th position out of the 150 starters at the event. The weather worsened in the afternoon but, despite getting away with "riding a bank" at 60mph, the crew climbed back up the leader board to 4th position overnight.
The contrast in the conditions on Sunday morning was incredible, and the bright French sunshine meant that the muddy roads were drying quickly. The Hyundai team, however, were unlucky to get caught out on a particularly slippery corner and retired from the event.
The Hendy team survived some scares! but then started to suffer some gearbox problems which meant that the gear selection would only deteriorate. At the final service a decision was taken, despite the risks, to continue ... and it was well worth it! The Focus held on and the 3rd place overall finish, behind two local French drivers, was a superb result.
Truly a team effort!!
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