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Atlantic Adventure

It's still all go!

This time Goodwood festival of Speed the reason. It's now a firm date in the diary and you don't want to miss it, what an awesome event it is! The run up the hill climb and the loose conversation between old friends and new is great. It's a great catch up but also fantastic to demonstrate or Peugeot Super 2000 in front of appreciative and knowledgable people as well as people green to motor sport! 

Now we find ourselves sat in the middle of the Atlantic.... Luckily there is a few rocks to plonk ourselves on!

They are called the Acores, I've never been here and I guess I'm not the only one in terms of tourists. However this week on a rare occasion we find ourselves as the 'new boys' when it comes to this rally. Not something we are phased by although we will have to rely on experience and use our heads to do a clever rally.

This rally is very unique in terrain in that the stages/roads are very narrow and lined by high earth banks, walls, shrubs, hedges and one stage takes us around the lip of a Volcano!!..... Inactive they say!!

Watch for the tv coverage on Eurosport this rally has some of the most spectacular scenery you will ever see a rally car negotiate!!

So thursday am is shakedown and rally start on the evening with three stages that night. It will be massively important as the top five overall will be reversed for each day thereafter and hereroad position is very important. The surface can hinder the first few cars, so seeded at fourth we have to get on with it straight away to get a good road position for friday!!

Guy

Published on 11/07/2011

My 24hrs in Le Mans

The diary is bursting at the seams!

I’ve just returned from Le Mans on a flying visit to see this great for the first time for real.

What a show.

I was only there for not even 24 hours, almost enough you might say, except I arrived Friday afternoon at 5.30pm…  in time for dinner!! 

Peugeot UK were hosting journalists for the race and I arrived just as the drivers parade started. 

Next morning I made my way to the circuit for race day - and a briefing about my much anticipated ‘lap’.

 It's not every day you get invited to drive the Le Mans 24hr race circuit closed off, yet alone with a baited audience!... Oh they were for the race! 

At 11.00am our ‘lap’ had turned into a fully choreographed  10-car Peugeot RCZ stunt team!!

With six formations to remember, add a VIP to the passenger seat (to witness everything) and 200,000 odd race fans… rallying at this moment felt  a doddle!! 

What an experience! We were coming out of the last chicane on to the start finish straight at 13.00….. try and tell me we are in road cars.

I’ve been placed 5th in our 1st formation (funnily enough), ‘I coming to the front’ just as we cross the start/finish line and I hit the power, the radio crackles ‘formation deux!’….

It was one hell of an experience and even though we weren’t  racing, apparently from the outside it looked fantastic!! 

So back to the day job, boarding a plane to Ypres for a two-day test.

Looking forward to the test and the rally massively!

So I’ll let you know how it goes!

Guy 

Published on 15/06/2011

Feeling flat

The rally was always going to be a big challenge and just before the first stage started the rumours were in full flow that rain was fast approaching.

We kept to our plan that it wouldn't come fast enough and went on soft slick tyres. It paid off and we held the joint lead of the rally after the first day.  

Short and sweet! 

The next day started off with a minor glitch with our handbrake not working on the first stage of the day. Worse was to come. 

Although we fixed the the handbrake after the stage on the very next stage half way through we picked up a rear puncture with 10km still to go! 

We didn't feel anything other than the tyre getting softer and softer with the car moving around at the rear wildly. 

These stages were low grip and with lots of debris at the sides and sometimes on the road we were miffed after driving around some rocks earlier in the stage. 

Never mind, it was early days and feeling confident with the car we knew we could stand a good chance of pulling back the 40 second deficit over the remainder of the rally. 

The second pass was going well and with one stage left in the day we had reduced the gap to the leaders to 30 seconds. 

Game 'back' on! 

We set off into the last 28km stage of the day on a bit of a mission! The car was feeling great underneath us. 

However 8km in, all was to change. The slightest bump through the steering wheel sent a vibration through my hands and a shiverdown my spine..... we had touched something with a front wheel on a flat blind 6th gear left hander,... puncture, I thought of instantly. 

It was confirmed on the next right hander with the car understeering wildly. Aaaaaaahhh!! We had no choice to stop and change it in the stage loosing just more than two minutes. Gutted. 

The final day we could do no more than drive for the finish as the gap was too big in front and behind. 

The pace is there and all we need is some luck, the hard work of training and testing and making sure we do our homework for the next round in and around the famous world war fields of Ypres. 

There is only a small trip to the world-famous Le Mans 24hr before that supporting of course...Peugeot. 

Can't wait for Ypres!! 

Published on 07/06/2011 18:50

ARRRGGGHHH! That hurts. That really hurts.

I’m sad to report that our Tour de Corse, round three of the Intercontinental Rally Challenge, didn’t exactly go to plan.

We were up to third in the Peugeot UK 207 S2000  - just 6.3 seconds off the lead - when we crashed 6km from the end of stage four.

I hold my hands up completely. It was my fault.

We were flat in fifth gear around a blind corner and then we had 50m to brake for an open long square right - but we were too hot and I braked five metres too late.

I should have been down to second gear but I was fighting to keep the car on the road.

We touched the grass with the back end and that was enough to spin the car and we ended up going backwards down a bank.

We were only five metres off the road but stuck on a 60 degree bank and we couldn’t get out. Damn. Damn. Damn.

I was trying too hard to make up time after we had a bad first split.

I’m so frustrated and so sorry I haven’t delivered for Peugeot UK.

But we will.

There are some positives to take from Corsica. We had a fastest time on stage three and it’s not a disaster championship-wise. But we have got to make amends…and quick.

The team did a fantastic job. My 207  hasn’t missed a beat all year and it’s good to see Kronos getting the rewards they deserve with Thierry Neuville. He’s doing a fantastic job.

We need to make sure it is us next time. We’ve got to get our head down, make good pacenotes and do the job in the Ukraine.

I’ve never rallied there before. It’s a new adventure and a level playing field for everyone. So it’s game on.

 

Beep. Beep

 

Guy

Published on 17/05/2011

DING, DING! Seconds out for round three!

The Peugeot UK rally team is in Corsica for round three of the 2011 Intercontinental Rally Challenge.

It’s our third start in the Peugeot UK 207 S2000 and we’re seeded as car No3.

So let’s hope it’s third time lucky...because we are here to WIN!!!

We had a two-day test after Canarias and I’m feeling more and more confident with every mile.

We’ve made some set-up changes to suit my driving style at high-speed.

And let me tell you, this Peugeot is a proper pocket rocket!!

Oddly, this will be the first time I’ve competed on the Tour de Corse - which is famous for being the ‘rally of 10,000 corners’.

I’ve been lucky enough to compete all over the world, but never on this beautiful French island.

I did do the recce once though, back in 2001 with the late Rob Arthur.

We arrived here on Sunday and Phil (Pugh, my co-driver) and I got straight to work preparing for the recce - fitting an in-car camera and having a ride out to check out the nature of the roads.

It’s a lot more technical than round two in Canarias.

Very intense!!! Very challenging!!! With lots of surface changes - broken tarmac, new tarmac, bits of gravel, all on the same stage.

We started the recce at 5am on Monday - three passess of three stages to check the pacenotes - and we didn’t get back until late evening.

We doing some more stages today (Tuesday), then the pre-rally shakedown, then more recce!!!

Busy. Busy. Busy.

But like all things in life. Good preparation = good results = good times!!!

I promise you one thing. We’re going to be on it this weekend. We need IRC points and I’d love to add my name to winner’s list on such a famous rally.

So remember to tune in - six of the stages are being screened live on Eurosport!

Beep! Beep!

Guy

Published on 10/05/2011

OLA!

Ola! from Las Palmas!

We've just arrived on Gran Canaria for the second round of the Intercontinental Rally Challenge.

But there's no time to enjoy the sun, sangria and s** (....that's sea, you filthy lot!!!)...it's all about SPEED!!!

Rally Canarias is narrow and fast with undulating roads and our Peugeot UK 207 S2000 is capable of winning here, so that's our aim.

We were third here last year and we've been working hard in preparation for this rally...testing with Peugeot Sport...go-karting...keeping fit and keeping trim.

Peugeot UK have been busy boys behind the scenes too and we’ve got a new team partner on our 207 S2000 (Ola, Clarion!! We hope you enjoy the ride!!!)

New Helmets

We've also had our helmets painted to reflect our roots...lovin' that Angel of North!

It's been a long break since the Monte ...too long...but the rallies will be coming thick and fast now. Just how we like it!!!

The Peugeot Sport test was fantastic. We did approx 180km in a car that is already really well developed. This is a good sign of things to come and shows that we are not running out of ideas. We're testing again with Kronos tomorrow to finetune set-up.

You don't always think of Gran Canaria as being a mountainous landscape but the rally stages are very varied, lots of uphill climbs and quick downhill sections. You have to be very smooth and if you want to be fast, you have to be brave!

We are in a good place going in to this rally this weekend and it is essential Phil and I build on our third place on the Monte.

The competition will be strong, but as a driver you always want to win against strong competition and it makes the rally a lot more interesting. Like I said, the pace is going to be mental at the front… so stay tuned!!!

Since Monte Carlo, I've also been busy babysitting (my little girl), taken over a go-kart track close to home in the North East of England and been to a good friend's wedding in Sweden (Ola, Mr and Mrs P-G!!!)). It's nice to keep busy outside of work, but it's great to be getting back to rallying.

Got to dash. Adios, Guy

Published on 10/04/2011

It's all go!

Well Argentina may be cancelled but there is still plenty to keep me busy!

Monte Carlo is but a memory but that doesn't stop the planning/work behind the scenes.

05.38 train from Durham to London Kings Cross this morning for a media training session with the PR agency for Peugeot UK.

I knew they'd pick something up in the vidcasts!!! 

Well besides that it's been a big start to the month which has seen the arrival of my new ride. A very swish black Peugeot (of course) RCZ! Very nice!!

And only just last week I acquired a go kart track in the North East of England close to home. Busy times!

Great for some tarmac practice as I already have a rotax max go kart. I can see some serious abuse of the practice sessions - although I think I'll keep clear of the paintball arena for now! 

I think Peugeot UK are keen to keep me on top of my fitness regime.

They are selling top notch bikes again and have just sent me a very nice glossy brochure for me to pick from! Can't wait to start pedalling!

While we're on the subject of two wheels I will fill you in on my recent motorcycle trials result,... or non result! 

Five sections in after a 13-year (yes 13) lay off, I was ahead of all my mates with the least amount of dropped points. Happy times!..... Then keen to get a bit more practice in, in between sections, I inadvertently snapped the gear lever off on a rock! Sad times!.... Then to top it off popped the tyre off the rim two sections later. 

New Michelin rubber required!

Must run I'm here!!

Published on 09/02/2011

Zzzzzzz.....Zzzzzz...

What a week - or 12 days.

4 flights, 2 days testing, 1000's kms recceing, a debut, a birthday and a podium (with a little help from a friend)!

Busy and hectic doesn't sum it up. We were so lucky to have a team like Kronos behind us and Peugeot UK inspiring us all the way.
That combination allowed us to relax enough to just get on with our jobs, driving.

It's fair to say the rally was mixed in more ways than one.
Weather as usual turned the Monte on its head in fine style!
We were able to keep our feet on the ground with safe choices and not pushing the boundaries too much.

So a long rally was topped with a podium (thanks to Stephane) and my 30th birthday!

1h 45m sleep on Saturday morning before our Palace trip and then it was chill time before the party on Saturday night in Stars n Bars with family and friends. 

A great end!

Zzzzzzz

Published on 25/01/2011

It has landed!

2011 is here!

This is the year it is going to happen.

We are ready, the team are ready, everybody at Peugeot UK is ready and so are all of you!

My new uniform arrived just yesterday (good timing) and  here is a sneak preview!

Don't worry Pugh has one (or three) too!

I can't tell you how much I am looking forward to this year.

The training over christmas was hard work, especially in the snow even though everywhere looked beautiful!

While the indulgence was taking place, I have managed to loose more than a few pounds (not money you sarcastic buggers), in fact kg's have been shed in the slog to be fighting fit!!

Durham has graced my large, now more slender frame, on a number of occasions on foot and pedal power over the last 6 weeks and for you Northerners (next part only understandable to northerners for reasons stated) just keep shtum how lucky we are like, to have such a class Moountan (bag a Tudor) reet on arr front door to dee it aall!!

So Monte Carlo, only two days until we fly out to complete our last two day test session (already had one on tar pre Christmas) and then straight into recce Saturday through to Monday night. 

So I hope you enjoy the new website and the ride together through 2011!

 

Guy

Published on 07/01/2011
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