Thursday Report – Rally New Caledonia
The weather has been fine and hot, but its not expected to last – rain is predicted.
The crews finished recce today and Dean Herridge’s first impressions of the event were, “the first day stages its going to be very difficult to get a rhythm, the roads are high speed with lots of unpredictable crests. Then there’s the 2nd day and Katrikorn – wow that’s a Big Mac of a stage!! Very twisty, very slippery and slow and 35 kilometres long. So no matter what you do on the first day, that one stage will have big effect on your event. Its going to be a challenge for us, especially as it’s the first time Chris (Murphy) and I have rallied together, making it to the finish is the first goal and then we’ll see”.
After winning the event in 2006 and 2nd in 2007 Katsu Taguchi is odds on favorite to win and after recce he was happy with the roads he’d seen ” they are fast and dry for the first day – and in better condition than last year. Even the 2nd day stages are better and we’re hoping for a good run. If it rains then everyone will have a chance – every corner can be slippery and like ice – but its hard to predict where those corners are when its wet”.
Drama of the day – CUSCO team were locked out their workshops by local industrial action. The strikers agreed to let the team take their rally cars and some spares for scrutineering – but at this stage they are working on the cars in the hotel car-park waiting for further news.
Shakedown is at 7.30am tomorrow (Friday), the official start at 1.00pm and the first action at 3.00pm at the hippodrome.