Trial & Tribulations in Corsica
Rally Corsica, better known as ‘Tour De Corse’ was to be Gus’ second rally of 2018, but contested as Non-Priority meaning Gus would not score points for the WRC2 championship. The iconic ‘Rally of 10’000 corners’ was to be held over 12 stages, spread over 3 days. The longest of which being a mammoth 55,17km test on Sunday morning.
The Pre-Event Shakedown proved promising with Gus claiming the 2nd fastest time heading into the event. However, Gus would be lying a disappointing 7th out of 19 entries after SS2. “I couldn’t get a rhythm in Stage 1 but Stage 2 was a lot better but I was held up. I don’t know what has happened but I can’t drive fast”. Friday afternoon would follow in the same fashion meaning Gus would end Day 1 in 7th position.
Saturday morning offered little improvement; a spin during SS7 left Gus having to remove a steel pole which had wrapped itself around the brake calliper losing Gus 6 minutes. A much stronger performance during Saturday afternoon meant a couple of top 4 stage times would promote Gus to 5th after the 6 stages of Day 2. “The morning didn’t go as planned with the spin but the afternoon stages were a lot better. I really enjoyed driving stages 9&10 and the times were much more competitive. Not great, but an improvement nevertheless. I want to carry this momentum forward for Sunday”.
3km into the 55km SS11, Gus noticed he had a brake problem and was forced to nurse the car home to the end of the stage so he could look into making repairs for the Power Stage. “I lost the pedal very shortly into the stage. That was very frustrating but there was nothing I could do about it. My pace notes weren’t good in this stage either. Not happy at all”. Gus & Craig made some road repairs & were able to finish Rally Corsica in a solid 5th position. “I’m glad we didn’t score points here, but we have learnt a lot and like usual, the M-Sport Ford team did a fantastic job. I’m sorry I didn’t do my job well enough”.
Gus & Craig’s next WRC2 event will be Rally Argentina later this month.
“Corsica was a bad rally for me, in fact probably one of the worst Rallies I have ever had. I came into Corsica with a lot of confidence from Rally Mexico and also a very productive Pre-event test. I felt really well connected with the car & the speed was there. But the first day was a disaster, I couldn’t get a feeling on the long stage & I have no clue why I couldn’t. On the short stage I was held up by Ciamin whilst we were posting promising split times which was frustrating.
Saturday wasn’t too much better but we did make some improvements in the afternoon. We saw a much stronger performance & this was definitely the main positive of the weekend. I had hoped to carry this momentum through to Sunday but brake issues meant we had to nurse the car through to the end of the Rally to take a disappointing 5th.
Skoda brought upgrades & Citroen brought a new car but I still should have been a lot closer than what I was. We have learnt a lot, but I need to put that into practice for my next asphalt event. No doubt in my mind that I am more than able to turn this around & I plan to do just that for Rally Argentina”.