Or­sica’s rep­u­ta­tion is well known in ral­ly­ing and those 10,000 cor­ners re­main one of the World Rally Cham­pi­onship’s most en­dur­ing chal­lenges. I was de­lighted to have the op­por­tu­nity to co-drive Abu Dhabi Rac­ing driver Mo­hamed Al Mutawaa on such an iconic

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Un­for­tu­nately, things didn’t go ex­actly as we’d hoped. Ev­ery­thing was good in the lead up to the event; the recce was a real eye­opener, I don’t think I’ve ever writ­ten as much in such a short space of time! Hon­estly, I didn’t have the chance to look up for about six miles in one stage – best not ask me what the Cor­si­can coun­try­side looks like!

The first day was tough for Mo af­ter we suf­fered a pow­er­steer­ing prob­lem on the DS 3 R3T. With­out mid-day ser­vice, he did re­ally well to drive around the is­sue. About 12 miles into the first Satur­day stage, Mo went for the brakes, but his foot went to the floor. The car spun and clipped a bank, which pitched us into a roll. We went over three or four times down the road be­fore the car dropped down a bank.

It was a pretty scary feel­ing when it dropped off the road – you im­me­di­ately won­der how far it’s go­ing to roll. For­tu­nately we stopped against a tree on my side. We were both out of the car fairly sharpish, which was just as well be­cause it caught fire soon af­ter.

We grabbed our ex­tin­guisher, then took a cou­ple more from the next cars along, but there was noth­ing we could do. Once it caught, it took a fire en­gine to put it out. Re­mem­ber­ing what hap­pened on this is­land 30 years ago, it was a fairly hor­ri­ble ex­pe­ri­ence watching the rally car burn. Both Mo and I were fully aware of how much worse it could have been.

De­spite the way the event ended, it was a real priv­i­lege to work with Mo and a team as pro­fes­sional as Abu Dhabi Rac­ing.

There’s re­ally not much time for me to catch my breath in October. From Cor­sica I’m home for a day be­fore fly­ing to San Marino for the Ral­lyle­gend with Alis­ter Mcrae. We’re us­ing a Subaru Legacy Colin drove dur­ing his ca­reer – can you imag­ine that? What a mas­sive hon­our that is for me as a Scots­man and co-driver.

The week af­ter that it’s Mull with John Mac­crone and, as MN read­ers, you’ll know how much ev­ery­body looks for­ward to that clas­sic rally.

Loudon’s event had an early and firey end­ing

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