MG Sport and Racing's bid on Wales Rally GB had a rather special member in the support crew, F1 design engineer Gary Anderson. MG-xpower.com caught up with Gary mid-rally...

Gary has a great deal of F1 experience stretching back to the 1970s, so he knows a lot about what F1 drivers have to do. So what does he make of the guys who play about in the mud and gravel for their living?

"It's tricky conditions and you're driving from six o clock in the morning to eight o clock at night in dark, wet, slippery, forest sections, with trees, logs, all sorts of stuff around them, it's a lot of concentration," he explained. "You take an F1 driver, he sits in there for an hour and a half, and hour and three quarters on a Sunday afternoon and has a cruise, it's not like that for these guys, they are on the limit.

"I would put them similar to the bike guys - it's about your own survival and it's a discipline of that how near to the level you can push it and not go over the top because 90% of the time you're doing to hurt yourself so you have to give yourself that little window, and the bike guys are like that, whenever they go down the road they go down the road, they're not sitting in a cocoon around them so it's a really, really good sport to see that and the drivers at the end of it they're bloody good people, they really are good drivers,

MG Sport and Racing's take on Wales Rally GB this year was in the Group N class, where cars are as near as possible to showroom spec, just as many use for less gruelling activities such as going to Sainsbury's for the weekly shop. "That's the thing that's so special with this effort from MG, that it can actually withstand this, this is obviously a good testament for its engineering, and the best way of showing it is going and doing it.

"Obviously someone can come and buy one of these cars and go and rally it and it's a lot of fun but you can also buy this car and the rallying's obviously proved that it's a pretty sturdy little vehicle and I'd think you could go to Sainsbury's quite often with it! It's nice to see a vehicle like that, and it's nice to see MG come and put it up front and say there you go chaps, a world championship round at the Wales Rally GB, and the aim is that the car is reliable and you get to the flag, and it is a standard production car and it's great to see it happen."

Gary was along on MG's rally effort due to his friendship with F1 expert and former Brabham colleague, Tony Jardine. Could Gary ever see himself partnering Tony in a rally car?

"Co-driving's not a good deal," surmised Gary. "I think if I was going to have a go I'd have to hold on to the steering wheel - I have warned him - if he isn't going to speed up a bit I'm going to take over, put his helmet on and go for it."

So, something Gary would like to have a go at? "I'd love to have a go at it, I used to rally a bit over in Ireland, I had a Mini Cooper S which was quite a good thing and I had a Ford Escort but that was just little club rallies, I was okay. It's something that I've had a bit of an aching to have a go at, I should go and have a go at Silverstone Rally School one day for a bit of a laugh, but for now I just keep Tony in line, but if he doesn't speed up a bit I'll boot him out of there!"

So watch out Tony, someone else has their eyes on that MG ZR rally car!

 

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