Last weekend the team travelled to France to compete in the Rallye de la Lys based in Saint Venant. This was the second time the team have taken part in this event and the plan was to improve on their 5th place achieved in 2013.
Prior to the start of the rally, the team of Steve Hendy and Aled Davies completed a comprehensive two day recce of the stages and were confident that their notes were working well. That, combined with a brief test in the re-fitted Focus WRC, meant there was a good expectation for the result.
The first loop of stages were in changeable conditions, with tyre choice proving critical, and the team were pleased to be holding 4th overall just a handful of seconds off the podium. The weather continued to throw complications into the strategy in the afternoon, but overnight the duo were now holding 3rd spot, just 20-seconds behind a Subaru WRC in 2nd
The following morning the gap was closed to just 1-second in the first of a loop of three stages! At the end of the section, the gap was back to 5-seconds. The next set of stages were now in the wet again, and the Hankook tyres worked well to pull the Focus over 40-seconds clear of the chasing Mini WRC, and 45-seconds over the Subaru. However, the gap to 1st place was a stretch too far!
Steve said of the result "2nd overall is a superb finish with the strength of the local competition, and the upgraded Elf fuel supplied by the WP Group has made the performance of the Focus so much sharper! The fact that the service crew only performed a precautionary clutch change is testament to the pre-event preparation of the car! "
As for the next event, the crew will be out again on ? ... updates to follow!
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