Damian Cole is impressed with the compact route of tomorrow’s Rally van Wervik, having completed the recce in record time – and, having hopefully fixed the suspension issues which prevented him finishing the Manx National Rally, he believes that victory on the Belgian round is crucial to his Protyre MSA Asphalt Rally Championship aspirations.
Co-driven by Jamie Edwards, the Abergavenny driver is quietly optimistic ahead of the 60 stage mile event, which contains four flat-out loops of three stages in an action-packed West Flanders format. It certainly won’t be easy for the Get Connected Ford Fiesta WRC pilot, as he’s only ever contested one event in Belgium before – and that was almost 20 years ago!
“The recce was good – it’s such a compact route, we did two passes, made notes and checked them, in less than an hour and a half,” said Damian. “The roads are very fast, with no bogey times over here, no average speed, so there are no chicanes and no tightening of junctions, it’s all just the road itself, so it should be very enjoyable. There are quite a few cuts and deep ditches either side of the road and there is a five hundred metre long section of gravel in the third stage, at the end of which is a square left, square right kink with braking on gravel, so that will be interesting. There are also some very fast flowing sections and it’s quite smooth – it’s not bumpy and it should suit the car. We did some work on the suspension last week after the disaster we had on the Manx. I drove the car on Wednesday and it feels better, so we’ll see first thing tomorrow morning.
“We need to win really and take maximum Championship points on this one, because unless we do it’s going to be a real struggle. We need to finish every round from now as well because we didn’t finish the Manx, so this is an important event for us.”