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Welshman Simon Hughes was at the pre-Rally GB press day earlier this month. Crash.net Radio
caught up with the MSA British Rally Academy driver to get his thoughts on his part-season in the Fiesta Sporting Trophy International series, his plans for 2008 and lots, lots more...
Simon, it has been a bit of a patchy year for you. You started quite promisingly in the FSTi series and then have had to sit on the sidelines for a bit…
Unfortunately it has been patchy. The season started well in Norway. It was the first time we had been over there and we were lucky enough to get some good results - we were fourth in Norway, second in Portugal and third in Sardinia. But unfortunately things weren't to be.
On the other hand though this is the most WRC events I have done in one season. We have learned so much, even though we have only done limited events. We are just working hard now to make sure we get the opportunity to put everything we have learnt into practice.
You have been doing the FSTi series. What are your thoughts on it because it has not been that well supported throughout the year?
It is a shame, because it has great potential as a championship. I know the guys at M-Sport work hard behind the scenes to make it happen and I am sure it will be successful. The guys there, pretty much anything they turn there hands to, they make a success of and I am sure given time, the Fiesta championship will be one of those things.
Barry Clark has pretty much dominated the series, but do you think the lack of opposition has devalued that title?
I wouldn't say it has devalued the title at all because just getting around the events is a hard thing to do. Barry has had a good year - he's been lucky at times, but he has driven well and consistently all year. I think a lack of competition is disappointing for anyone that is driving, including Barry. But I think the main attraction to the Fiesta championship is the fact that you can learn the WRC stages at a relatively cheap cost.
Since your FSTi campaign stopped you have taken in a few different opportunities. You drove the Astra RallyD on the Jim Clark Rally. How did that work out for you and how did that car differ, other than obviously being a diesel, from the Fiesta?