ANDERSON TO DEFEND WOODPECKER VICTORY
Fiesta driver back in the BTRDA Photos: Jakob Ebrey, Writtle Photographic, SMJ Photography
Last year’s Woodpecker Rally winner Jamie Anderson will return to defend his crown in the BTRDA event on September 3.
Anderson – who has competed in the British Rally Championship in a Ford Fiesta R5 this year – hasn’t competed in the BTRDA since last year’s Woodpecker on September 5.
While Anderson’s entry is secured, the Midlands driver has yet to decide which car to run. He still owns the Mitsubishi Lancer WRC 05 he used to win the event last season, but has spent this year in his Ford Fiesta R5.
“I’m definitely going to do it [the Woodpecker], but I don’t know what I’m going to do it in yet,” said Anderson. “I might do it in the R5 or bring out the Evo, we’ll see. It depends what happens in Ireland [for the BRC’S sixth round, the Ulster Rally].”
Anderson will compete on the Ulster on August 18/19, and if the car comes back in one piece he’s likely to use it in an attempt to defend his first and only overall BTRDA win.
“I’m not planning to go back there and not defend it,” added Anderson. “With it being fast stages, the R5 might struggle. It’s got real good stages and it’s a good rally, it always has been.
“BTRDA is good too so it won’t be a walk in the park, that’s for sure. Julian [Reynolds] will be tough to beat if he enters, he went well on the Nicky Grist. It’s [Reynolds’ Ford Focus WRC] got more grunt than an R5 and trying to compete against that, especially in an R5, is always going to be difficult.”
Anderson is currently eighth in the BRC points, but after a breakthrough on gravel, challenging the top five has become regular for him and co-driver Ross Whittock.
“I’d like to do a bit more testing now to make the next step,” added Anderson. “We just haven’t found the time to do it.
“I’m glad we’ve got the gravel pace nearly there, we were fighting for eighth and ninth and now we’re fighting for third and fourth. The BRC is definitely a step up in what we’re used to. I think I will come back next year, this year is a learning year with a new car and having never done my own pacenotes, all those things have made it a big thing.
“The only problem is work, I’ve got a business to run and separating it from that will be difficult.”
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Fiesta man’s gravel pace is promising Francis needs to finish the last two rounds to have a chance of title