Per-Gunnar Andersson and Emil Axelsson in their Proton Satria Neo S2000 had to make due with a sixth place in SWRC in Wales. But despite the somewhat modest result they are still in the top of the leaderbord for the championship when only two events remain. But it’s close. The winner in Wales, Craig Breen, and Hayden Paddon, who like P-G had troubles in Wales, are only eight points behind the Swede.
Per-Gunnar Andersson and Emil Axelsson had the worst possible start of the rally in Wales. Already after the second stage they had to throw in the towel.
– The car understeered and when we came to a hairpin left, both drive shaft and link arm broke and we got a puncture, says P-G.
The duo did manage to make it to the finish of the stage but when there they realized that the day was over.
– It’s tough. Especially since we know we didn’t hit anything.
The mixed luck of it all was that also rival Hayden Paddon was forced to retire the first day. Both teams started again on the second day with a time penalty, but then P-G was several minutes ahead of the New Zealander.
While Craig Breen dominated the results board, both P-G and Paddon tried to improve their positions.
– The Saturday was really good and we managed to get the settings of the car much better, says P-G.
From sixth position P-G and Axelsson continued to gain on Alistair Fisher just ahead, on the final leg of the rally. They almost caught up to him but then they hit parts of a tree and had to fall back.
– It was in the middle of the road and we had no chance to avoid it but ran straight into it and broke the power steering, say P-G and adds:
– The rough start aside, this was a good rally. We have raced in a solid, high tempo and were almost in fifth position when we lost the power steering. We have to be satisfied with that. And the championship is still undecided that that is something to be grateful for.
For results – see: www.wrc.com