Rallye le Bethunois
Rallye le Bethunois - 12-13-14th September 2014
The Hendy Motorsport rally team travelled to Northern France at the weekend to compete in an event based in the picturesque town of Bethune and achieved a magnificent 2nd place on the podium.
The result, however, was not without a big fight!
On the way to vehicle scrutineering on Friday evening, the Focus WRC suffered a terminal turbo failure, without a spare, the team was out of the rally before they had even started! After an hour of several frantic phone calls, the correct spec of turbo was found ... in Cumbria! After several more phone calls, late on that Friday night, an exchange process was established between various parties that would mean the turbo would arrive in Bethune by 09:30am on the Saturday, in time for the 20-minute service on the way to the first stage at 10 o'clock.
The service team worked hard and completed the swap in 23-minutes ... a sterling effort. However, Steve Hendy and Aled Davies booked out of service 3-minutes over time, resulting in a 30-second time penalty. The rally proper had not even started yet!
And so the fight began! Of the 180-starters, the Focus had climbed back up in to the top 10 after the first loop of stages, and by the overnight halt was lying a creditable 3rd overall, 10-seconds behind a 2013 spec Citroen DS3 WRC!
Sunday began as Saturday had finished ... with the team fired up to try and overhaul the leaders, and after a huge battle and some near misses with the scenery, the crew finished 8-seconds ahead of the Citroen and 1-minute behind the four times pervious local winner in a Toyota Corolla WRC.
The 14-year old Focus ran perfectly throughout the event, and the team were delighted with such a result against the odds, and against some very strong opposition. After the event, Steve said "This event has proved that this is very much a team sport, and the assistance from various other teams enabled us to start the event. Particular thanks must go to M-Sport in Cumbria for finding the turbo, Paul Benn, Paul Pickett and Simon Drury, for getting the turbo to us, and our own service crew of Dennis and Paul for getting us to the start line. The result would not have been achievable without the help also of WP Racing, Castrol, Hankook and the Hendy Group. All in all a superb result!"