Alister ready for new challenge
May 25, 2006
Alister McRae and Gordon Noble have had a last minute test in the Allport Motorsport Misubishi Evo 8 which they will be driving on the Zulu Rally, South Africa’s bid for the World Rally Championship.
It was an early start today for the former British Rally Champion who was unable to test the car on Tuesday as the boat from Auckland broke down en-route to Durban. The container which was due on 11th May was finally unloaded yesterday morning.
“The stages are very good, a real mixture of technical stages for the driver. Not too keen on the last 10-15kms of the last stage of the event which is rough where it will be easy to damage the car. This is my first rally in South Africa and I do not know the pace of my fellow competitors. The “Works” S2000 cars will be quick and I have been told there are some fast boys in Group N cars. I am up against unknown competition, it will be the end of the first stage when I discover how competitive I am against the rest of the field of 60 entries. It is good to be here in Durban’s sunshine, I will be interested to see how the S2000 times compare with the Group N cars. At this mornings test the car felt good, I just got the damper settings changed. I am ready to go,” said Alister McRae.
McRae’s team mate is John Lloyd co-driven by Pauline Gullick who will be driving the second Jardine Lloyd Thompson supported Mitsubishi Evo 8. Lloyd is no stranger to African rallying and is a strong supporter of Africa having a round in the World Rally Championship. Relaxing before the start of the rally Lloyd said, “I don’t normally recce however Africa is different and I wanted to see the roads, the mountain stages are absolutely breathtaking both in terms of beauty and the driving challenge – not too sure about the 1/2 mile drops!!
The ceremonial starts is this afternoon and the action starts at 6.58am tomorrow morning. The two day event in the KwaZulu-Natal province finishes on Saturday afternoon after 229kms of special stages. The event also qualifies for the African Rally Championship.
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