Tuesday, 4 June 2013

Rally - meets Racing

An unexpected visitor to the service area ahead of the Jim Clark Rally was rising BTCC star, Tom Onslow-Cole.

The Surrey based racer had dropped in to see MSA Team UK member, John MacCrone. Working with the Motor Sports Association (MSA) as a coach, Tom has already spent some time with MacCrone and although he had watched him from outside, had never sat in a car with him. He did at the pre-rally shakedown.

“I have never been to a rally before,” said T O-C, “although I had previously sat in a works Ford Focus and Fiesta with Jari Matti Latvala at M-Sport, but that’s all I know about rallying. What I wanted to do today with John was see him in action and how he worked with his team, and then he took me for a ride.”

When he stepped out of the Culina Palletforce Citroen DS3 at the end of his ride through the hedge and dry stane dyke lined order lanes, Tom said: “It’s not like me, but I was lost for words at the end of that. I take my hat off to him (John) I didn’t have time to take it all in. It was unbelievable and nothing like touring car racing.”

For John, it was a chance to show Onslow-Cole what rallying is all about and give him a first hand insight into the sport: “Although he competes in an entirely different discipline to me, what Tom can give me is sound advice on working with a team to get the best out of all of us, and the psychology needed to win events, not just compete. So it was good of him to come all the way up from Surrey to the Scottish borders and meet the Culina Palletforce team.”

This visit was in fact just part of the sport’s governing body’s ongoing programme of searching for and developing new talent with MacCrone, and Stuart Loudon, the only Scots on MSA Team UK.

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