in Rally Co-driving
Castrol / Motor Sport Magazine team to compete in Swansea Bay
Rally Editor of Motor Sport Magazine Damien Smith, has agreed to take up Sky Sports Broadcaster Tony Jardine’s challenge to become his co-driver for the Swansea Bay Rally (19 July 2008). Smith who has never competed in a rally before will be given a crash course in rally co-driving by Jardine who has driven in 17 rounds of the World Rally Championship, including completing the British round, Wales Rally GB, 13 times
The media duo will be competing against 43 other teams in a Castrol-sponsored Ford Fiesta ST150 that Jardine has already driven in the Swedish World Rally Championship round and Rallye Sunseeker this year, finishing in 2nd and 1st place in class respectively.
With this run of success behind Twickenham businessman Jardine, there will be pressure on Smith to perform. In order to guide driver Jardine through the tough Welsh stages Smith will have to learn how to read specially adapted pace notes which represent the track in abbreviated code.
“This is going to be a huge challenge for Damien,” explained the experience Jardine. “Not only will he have to learn the skills required to become a rally co-driver incredibly quickly he will then be tested on some of the toughest stages in the UK. As anyone who has sat in a rally co- driver’s seat before will testify it takes a lot of nerve and grit to consistently make the correct calls at the right time. I believe Damien has what it takes and I am hoping that he will prove me right in Swansea.”
The pair will have to complete six special stages in one day including areas which are regularly used for Wales Rally GB. Smith commenting before the event added,
“I have never done anything like this before. If anyone else had asked me if I would be their co-driver I would have replied ‘Why can’t I drive?’ However Tony was very persuasive and managed to talk me into it. I am feeling very excited but also quite nervous.
“Although it is great to be able to use some of the same stages used for Wales Rally GB, the British round of the World Rally Championship, I think I have definitely been thrown right in at the deep end. It’s going to be one hell of an experience, but I trust Tony implicitly.” At the event the team will be provided with a full back up and service crew in the form of York based ProSpeed Motorsport who have provided support for Jardine for the last two years, including several rounds of the WRC. The team will be supplied with Kumho’s latest professional rally tyres.
“As a rally first timer the prospect of competing in such a well-known event must be daunting but Damien is jumping in head first.” Said ProSpeed Managing director Olly Marshall, “Tony is a very experienced driver but it is vital he is given the calls clearly and correctly in order to gain a good result. It will be interesting to see how Damien reacts to the challenge he has been set as he has never experienced anything like this before.”
The team will also receive assistance from McLaren SLR development engineer Andy Beale from Camberley who will work along side the ProSpeed crew to ensure the car runs as smoothly as possible. - Ends - For images of the ProSpeed / VSM team please click on the link below: