They say it’s not what happens but how you respond to it that counts. We are ready to prove that is the case as we head to Wales Rally GB, the 11th round of the WRC season, after some recent tough luck.
Although we scored our tenth podium of the year in Turkey, thanks to an intelligent drive from Hayden and Seb, we were forced to relinquish our lead in the manufacturers’ championship. There are now just five points between us and Toyota with three rallies remaining.
“Turkey was a missed opportunity for us to assert our authority,” said our Team Principal Michel. “We have to approach Wales Rally GB with a strong mentality and utmost determination, to show what we are capable of.”
We have never won in Wales Rally GB, but we’re certainly on an upward trajectory. Fourth in 2014 and 2015, third in 2016 and second place last year means our sights are set on the top spot this time around!
Crews will have to tackle a completely different terrain and climate to the punishing Turkish plains. They must navigate through fast tree-lined routes deep into the Welsh forest.
“I have had two podiums in a row in Wales, so it would be nice to continue that streak,” said Thierry. “After the disappointment of Turkey, the championship fight is definitely on!”
Weathering the storm
The Great British autumnal weather, something familiar to Hayden’s British co-driver Seb, will undoubtedly play a role.
“There is often rain, mud and fog to contend with,” says Hayden. “It adds character to a very enjoyable but taxing rally. We’ve never really fulfilled our potential but I’m going to set out to correct that this time.”
Our Norwegian Andreas and Anders are hoping for better luck after being forced out from a 40-second lead of Rally Turkey.
“It is important to take away the positives,” said Andreas. “Everything felt more relaxed and we had a good feeling in the car. That’s what we take with us to Wales, an event I enjoy greatly.”
This year’s 23-stage event – held three weeks earlier than last season – will kick off on Thursday 4th October with a charge through the super special stage at the Tir Prince Raceway.