From rally virgin to class winner

 Co hosts of A1GP Georgie Thompson and Tony Jardine trade studio floor for rally stage.  Thompson was given just 24 hours to qualify as a national navigator for the experienced Jardine Sky Sports motorsport presenter Georgie Thompson and her A1GP co-host Tony Jardine finished stage 1 of the Woodpecker Rally first in class against top British rallying competition.

Thompson, making her debut alongside the experienced Jardine navigated 8 stages of the Woodpecker rally successfully despite dry, dusty and challenging conditions in the Castrol/Sky Sports Ford Fiesta ST   at the Woodpecker Rally, Ludlow (30 August).

 The team were supported by York based ProSpeed, the latest tyres to go onto the car were once again supplied by Kumho, and Alpinestars supplied all driver uniforms. Thompson  had  just  24  hours  to  learn  about  rallying;  reading  pace  notes,  time  keeping  and understanding “tulips” (the racing variety).

Just 12 hours before Thompson and Jardine were due at the  start  line  the  pair  swotted  up  with  Olly  Marshall,  the  managing  director  of  ProSpeed  to  go through the necessary briefings. Thousands  of  spectators  lined  the  stages  as  Thompson  and  Jardine  sped  their  way  around  the world  championship  forest  venue  of  Radnor  to  bring  the  car  back  in  safely  and  in  a  competitive time.

On his debuting co-driver Jardine said, “What was great about Georgie’s performance today was her passion and ability to learn quickly. She enjoyed rallying more and more stage by stage and by the finish her enthusiasm got the better of her as she agreed to take part in another rally.  The most important thing is that Georgie unlike most others has decided to practice what she preaches and come  out  from behind her desk at the Sky Sports studio and do it for real – now she can speak about the sport with authority.”

 Thompson said, “I can’t believe the team and me were only sitting down around the kitchen table late last night running through everything. There was so much to take in and learn but with a bit of focus it’s amazing what you can do in a day!” One rally in and Thompson and Jardine are already talking about racing on the international stage. -