After a break from competition to complete his final year of university, Jerseyman Ed Fossey returned to competitive rallying action last weekend in his Yokohama Peugeot 208 R2 on the Nicky Grist Stages. With Guernseyman Will Rutherford sat alongside, the pair finished a creditable 40th overall and fifth in class on the dusty Welsh event to complete their first event together since the Cambrian Rally back in February.
Ed Fossey just days ago finished his final year at Bournemouth University – completing his History degree with a First-Class honours. There was no better way for the 20-year-old. Go and drive some of the best gravel stages in the world, once used on Britain’s round of the World Rally Championship – Wales Rally GB.
Because of the lack of recent seat time, Fossey and Rutherford were seeded further down the order at car 53 meaning the pair would have to contend with more rutted and loose conditions and the dust of slower cars ahead.
127 cars started the event with eight timed stages providing over 45 competitive miles for Ed to do battle in his rapid French machine. On stage one, catching slower cars from the outset, the young-gun had to carefully thread his way through the stages – with visibility at a premium. By the halfway point the times were starting to come and after four stages Ed and Will had moved into the top 40.
The afternoon loop was to see slightly improved conditions but for Fossey it was all about keeping it on the road and gaining a solid finish to kick-start his second half of the year. And that he did with 40th overall and fifth in class on the fifth round of the BTRDA Rally Series.
“It was a bit of a struggle all day really! Unfortunately, our seeding cost us time for most of the day as we ended up getting caught in people’s dust and just had to back off massively.” Said Fossey.
“On stage five we caught the car in front after about four miles! In the morning I was just far too cautious which basically put me out of any fight that was going on at the top. My pace picked up more in the afternoon, but for that second loop I was essentially going as quickly as I should’ve been on the first run round and it was too late to try and get any time back.
“Overall, I’d say a disappointing event for sure, but still it’s more experience with the car and working with Will [Rutherford]. Now with the exams over, we can focus on building momentum as we head to the Woodpecker [Stages]. The car ran faultless all day and the tyres were on top form so thanks to Yokohama and all the crew for giving me all the tools I need to be up there and fighting!”
The next event for Ed Fossey and Will Rutherford in the Peugeot 208 R2 will be the Woodpecker Stages on 31st August