The FIA World Rally Championship is the pinnacle of rallying. The Formula One of the forests. It’s where the best of the best compete, and to me it’s the ultimate challenge.
This year’s WRC contains 13 rallies, and each one offers a completely different challenge. From the ice-covered Alpine roads of Rallye Monte Carlo, to the thick snow of Sweden, the high altitudes in Mexico, the rock-strewn roads in Argentina, the flat-out jumps of Finland, the high-speed Tarmac roads of Germany and finally the muddy forests of north Wales, you have to be able to drive fast on every surface and in anything the weather can throw at you to be successful.
The unique thing about World Championship rallying is that you get to compete on the same stages, on the same day, as the top drivers – so you can compare yourself directly with World Champion Sébastien Ogier.
The type of car you drive obviously makes a big difference, and everyone wants to be in a factory-prepared car with one of the major manufacturer teams.
I’ll be driving a Ford Fiesta R2 on the forthcoming Rally Germany, complete with Watermans branding. It will run on DMACK tyres, and while it’s not turbocharged like the DMACK Fiesta Trophy runners, I’ll be able to compare my times – which will be a very good benchmark for my WRC return.
So what is the DMACK Fiesta Trophy, I hear you ask? Well it’s a championship for young drivers to show their skill in the WRC and it has a great prize, as the champion gets given a full-funded seven-round programme in a DMACK Ford Fiesta R5 the following year – the biggest prize in world rallying for a young driver.