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Elfyn and Phil target fourth WRC Academy win

The French WRC round is based in the city of Strasbourg, not very far away from the stages of the ADAC Rallye Deutschland. The two events are very different, though, with narrow French lanes replacing the wide-open military roads of the Baumholder complex.

Following his win in Germany, Elfyn took part in the British Rally Championship (BRC) Open Day, at which he demonstrated the potential of the M-Sport R2 Ford Fiesta to would-be competitors in the 2013 series. Elfyn secured the 2012 British R2 title on the Ulster Rally and so chose to concentrate on preparations for the Rally de France rather than compete on the final BRC round the previous weekend.

Elfyn said:

I really enjoyed the event last year and it was a great result. On the whole, the stages have more character than in Germany and from what I can remember the grip is generally better as well. There’s lots of variation, so it’s quite an exciting event, and it’s a long rally for us so it’ll be quite tricky. The weather was dry last year and there was lots of gravel on the stages. If it’s wet, that gravel will have turned into mud and so it’ll be difficult for everyone.

The Academy is still wide open and so we’re just concentrating on doing a good job. If the situation during the rally dictates a change of pace, we’ll deal with that if and when it happens.

The BRC Open Day was very wet, but it was good to see so much interest in the Championship. I was delighted to do my bit to promote the series; we’ve shown this year that the Fiesta is the car to have in the R2 class and I was only too happy to get behind the wheel to show what it can do.

Phil Pugh said:

I’ve tested in the area, but I’ve never actually competed on the event and so for once, Elfyn is the more experienced one in the car! Looking at the paperwork, there are some long stages and it’ll be a long event for all the Academy crews. It certainly has the potential to be a tough event and so Elfyn and I will have our work cut out.