FIA World Rally Championship driver Matthew Wilson and co-driver Scott Martin have completed a mammoth 985km around in Corsica over the past week in a bid to raise money for the RPJ Crohn's Foundation.
A break in the WRC calendar during the month of June, between Rally Portugal and Rally Bulgaria, allowed a window for the Stobart M-Sport Ford duo to take part in the Tour de Corse charity event, rising Trek Madone road bikes on a route around the French island over eight days. With the longest day consisting of 181km and the highest peak at 1477m, it was no easy feat, especially in temperatures topping 36 degrees Celsius, and the task was not helped by Wilson suffering a cold in the final days, but both men still managed to make it to the end.
"Everything went really smoothly - we had no punctures or major problems, which is quite surprising considering there were four of us!" Wilson commented, "We didn't always stick to our schedule and, when we were having a good day, we really pushed ourselves. On the final day, we only had 100km left to reach the end, adrenaline kicked in and we upped our pace to finish well ahead of schedule.
"There was one day where we had to do a 34km climb up to 1477 metres and I'd say that was the low point and a real test of our endurance. It was so hot whilst we were cycling too - about 36 degrees Celsius every day - but we had one afternoon when it rained which was well appreciated at the time!
"I also caught a cold at the weekend which made the final days more difficult than I had been expecting, but we enjoyed every minute of the Tour de Corse and I really want to thank everyone for their continued donations and support for the RPJ Crohn's Foundation."
The charity was set up earlier this year by Wilson's friend Rick Parfitt Jnr to help raise funds to support the National Association for Colitis and Crohn's Disease (NACC), and the M-Sport team also auctioned a variety of exclusive items on eBay
over the past week in order to raise additional money for the cause. Items included a Stobart-branded race suit signed by Wilson, and driving gloves signed by BP-Ford Abu Dhabi World Rally Team drivers Mikko Hirvonen and Jari-Matti Latvala. During the remainder of June, more items will be added to the auction site, including Wilson and Martin's signed cycling gear. Those who would still like to donate can do so by visiting the JustGiving
website which will be open until the end of June at http://www.justgiving.com/tourdecorse