Moroccan MK2 Adventure Begins for Frank Cunningham!
May 19, 2014 by Andrew Bushe
For Frank Cunningham and his co-driving nephew Ross Forde from Galway, the Rallye Du Maroc Historique started today from Agadir and finishes on Saturday, with 5000 kilometres ahead. The Galway Mini Centre/ C-Sport Ford Escort MK2 RS1800 has successfully passed the stringent scrutiny, and finished tenth on the ten kilometre prologue stage. It’s the start of this dusty duel!
“It’s really back to the old days of rallying” says Frank. “We have completed the recce, marked the rough sections, where we need to preserve the car, and also marked the tests where we can really push on. The service plan is now in action, so we know when our precautionary axle change will be for example. Of course on an event like this, and this heat, anything can go wrong, but we have prepared the chase vehicles as best we can. Now I can’t wait, and am eager to see if we can improve on last year’s fourth place.”
The first 10 kilometre test today was also a prologue, where the starting order for the rally will be ascertained and the crew finished an ideal tenth. “We didn’t want to finish first on the prologue, due to the dust and road conditions, and we are very happy with our tenth position. It was a good test, and the car felt good. It was quite rough in places, a lot of bed-rock, so we used a set of second-hand tyres, and I must say we are more than happy with the handling of the Escort. Tomorrow the real rally begins!” Winners of the prologue were former WRC stars Gilles and Herve Panizzi in their Peugeot, but Frank and Ross are just one second behind former Group N World Champion, Gregoire De Mevius in his Nissan 240RS, in a good road position to avoid the loose dust which will be swept by the leading cars.
Tomorrow the rally takes the cars from Agadir to Tafraout via four special stages totalling over eighty kilometres. With the days final test thirty kilometeres long in the searing heat, which can reach 43 degrees Celsius, this test of man and machine will be truly underway!
Keep up to date with the team news on the iRally APP and Facebook Andrew Bushe Promotions
Event website www.rallyedumaroc-historique.com