APRC regular Brian Green and his co-driver Fleur Pedersen have completed the last of three fly-away events on a high, battling the mud and slush of Wales Rally GB to finish 55th overall.
Run over forestry and military roads near the host city of Swansea, even the WRC cars found the conditions tough going, with fog, rain and night stages presenting plenty of challenges for the 112-strong field.
Heavy rain and cold temperatures in the days prior the rally turned the normally muddy roads into bogs. And with night falling by the time the group-N cars set off on the the penultimate stage of day 1, a thick blanket of fog rolled in to provide a bit of extra excitement.
‘The thickest fog I have ever seen’, commented the Kiwi veteran. ‘At times we had to come to a standstill, just to see where the road was, and if we were still on it!’.
The pair were again their Mitsubishi Evo 8, the same car they ran two weeks earlier at Rally Ireland. On this event, however, the car was not quite as reliable, a blown clutch ruining their run over the Super Special stage on day 2, held inside Cardiff’s Millennium Stadium.
But the toughest conditions were reserved for the final day, heavy rain and high winds battering the crews throughout Sundays final four stages. With so many cars running over the stages, the roads had become badly cut-up.
‘The roads were all very slippery, and a lot of time was spent just trying to keep the car where it should have been on the road!’.
Having now completed back-to-back rallies in China, Ireland and Wales, the pair are heading back to New Zealand for a well-earned break, before starting afresh in 2008.
Photos courtesy of Jim Smith and Ryan Smith.