by Rob Wilkins.
Gwyndaf Evans is a rallying veteran, having won the British Rally Championship in 1996 - as well as having finished runner-up in 1995, 1998 and 1999 – so who better then than to give us his thoughts on the current state of the sport?
From the very top, with Sebastien Loeb dominating the WRC, to the BRC, where Mark Higgins is on course to take the title, Gwyndaf was prepared to talk rallying. He may not have been out in the thick of things as much as he would have liked this year, but he still has a few tales to tell and was only to eager to speak to Crash.net Radio
at the recent Castle Combe Rallyday...
Gwyndaf, tell us what you have been up to this year. I recall you were out on a BRC event in the Ford Fiesta Junior WRC car a few months back...
Yeah, that's right. I haven't done as much as I had hoped this year. I was still contracted to MG Rover at the beginning of the year, but obviously it's common knowledge what's happened there, which was a shame.
Then I got involved with the Ford Fiesta Super 1600 car. I did a couple of tests. I did quite a bit in Turkey, testing there before [the Rally of] Turkey and then I went up to M-Sport and did some testing there. I then debuted it in the UK on the Pirelli Rally [in May], which unfortunately didn't go quite so well initially. The following day, though, we came back and we set some good times. It certainly showed there was some strength within the car although, of course, there is still some work to be done with it.
We were talking to [Ford boss] Malcolm Wilson prior to Rally Finland and he said Ford might run the Fiesta on the Ulster Rally. Any chance you will be out in it again?
I don't think so, unfortunately, much as I would like to. I think there will be another... there is somebody else again with some sponsorship, I think, going in and doing that one.
What were your impressions of it? Obviously, you have driven the MG Junior car in recent years. How did the two compare? Or is that a bit controversial?
I think that would be quite unfair, but what I can say is, obviously, from looks, the Fiesta is stunning and some of its handling characteristics are very, very good and very, very strong. And I would say, if they work on some areas, which they are very aware of and I'm sure they will - and I am very sure they will get it right as well - it will be a cracking little car.