for Jardine and Moriarty
Media pairing swap cold UK conditions for Norway’s winter wonderland on Sigdals Rally Sky Sports presenter Tony Jardine is set to kick off his 2009 rally campaign this weekend, teaming up with co-driver Sean Moriarty of Motorsport News.
Jardine finished 2008 in style by taking second in class at Wales Rally GB and will be hoping for a similar success at the Sigdals Rally in Norway (10 January). Jardine and Moriarty have competed together previously in 2007 on the Rallye Sunseeker in Bournemouth and also Rally Norway, Norway’s round of the World Rally Championship (WRC).
The team flew out to Norway early this week to start preparing for the event, which is deemed to be extremely challenging, with temperatures hitting an extreme low of minus 20. Although the pair have experience of such conditions, this time they will be in a Group N Subaru and have opted to undertake a one day intensive course at the highly-rated John Haugland Winter Rally School, in Dagali near Geilo. Haugland, who has competed at the highest level in WRC with Skoda, has had a hand in training some of the top drivers of the past and present including the late Colin McRae and local hero, WRC driver Petter Solberg. Jardine and Moriarty will be hoping to gain some world-class knowledge from Haugland to help them tackle everything that the Sigdals Rally has to throw at them.
York based ProSpeed Motorsport will also be making the journey out to Norway to help Jardine and Moriarty complete the rally, and will be working closely with Subaru Norway who have supplied the team with the Subaru Impreza. One of the main reasons for entering the first round of the Subaru Cup is so that Jardine and Moriarty can get some training in before they return in February to take on the WRC challenge of Rally Norway. In addition, driver Jardine can get to grips with the Group N11 Subaru, the Impreza being a challenge in itself and one of the most powerful rally cars that Jardine has had the privilege to drive.
Normally competing in a Ford Fiesta ST150, Jardine will have to learn how the Subaru handles in the snow so that the first outing in 2009 is a safe and successful one.