Pedder Prepared For toughest wrc of the season
- Round 6 of the 2015 World Rally Championship on the Italian island of Sardinia
- The second Round of Scott Pedder’s 2015 WRC2 campaign
- Hot temperatures and extremely challenging roads await
- Pedder refines his car setup with the M-Sport factory in the UK
Just two weeks on from his WRC2 debut Scott Pedder and co-driver Dale Moscatt return to Europe and the next event on their challenging program, the Rally Italia Sardegna.
Another new event for Pedder, fresh off his debut at Rally de Portugal last month, and possibly an even bigger challenge on roads that are notoriously demanding on cars and drivers.
“So far from what I’ve seen Sardinia is a beautiful place, but I know it has a fearsome reputation, and this year’s event is set to be even tougher so I’m fully expecting a massive challenge,” explained Pedder, who arrived at the Mediterranean Island early to acclimatise to the hot conditions.
“I’m fortunate in that I’ve competed on very hot rallies before, when I competed in the Asia-Pacific at Indonesia and Malaysia, so I have a fair idea what to expect and how to prepare for how hot it can get inside the car. Currently it’s 32 degrees at sea level, so I can only imagine how hot it’s going to get up in the hills over the weekend,” Pedder added.
Having reviewed plenty of in-car footage in preparation for this weekend’s challenge Pedder says a combination of the length of the event, at over 400 competitive kilometres, the nature of the roads and limited servicing will lead to a high attrition rate and a sense of survival over speed.
“A typical Australian Championship Round is 200 kilometres over two days. Sardinia is over 400 kilometres in three days, and with just five services, it’s going to be brutal. I’m excited though, if we can drive smart and use some of the lessons we learnt in Portugal then I think we can do well. The key though is to finish!” said Pedder.
In between Portugal and Sardinia Pedder has spent time working with the M-Sport factory in the United Kingdom to adjust the setup on his Ford Fiesta R5, having felt that the handling wasn’t conducive to his driving style.
“We’ve made some big changes actually, and gone in a far more aggressive direction than Portugal. It’s a setup far more specific to me, I felt it was probably setup too soft last time out, so it’ll be very interesting to feel the difference when we drive the car at shakedown on Thursday,” Scott commented.
Pedder is also confident that the harder packed nature of the road surface in Sardinia will lend itself far more to his aggressive driving style.
“Portugal had quite a soft surface, and dust was a big problem for us a number of times,” continued Pedder. “Sardinia has a far more compacted road surface, and hopefully that will assist us far more starting a bit further down the running order.”
“Above all else though it’s going to be another big adventure! Our plan is to get through the event cleanly, and if we can do that I’m confident we can be somewhere within the top ten. I want to drive at a solid pace but also enjoy myself.”
About The Rally
The Rally Italia Sardegna is the sixth Round of the 2015 FIA World Rally Championship and takes drivers to the Italian island of Sardinia in the Mediterranean Sea. Regarded as one of the most demanding events on the calendar, the rally this year features less than a third of stages that have been used previously.
The narrow stages, and hard packed gravel surface, combine to challenge drivers in the most extreme ways with road side obstacles like rocks and trees just millimetres off the racing line.
The rally is based in the Northern town of Alghero, but starts on Thursday (11th June) with a ceremonial start and street stage in the Capital city of Sardinia, Cagliari.
Drivers then tackle three full days of competition, including the longest day in the sport’s history since 2002’s Safari Rally in Kenya with over 200 kilometres of stages. Adding to the extreme challenge drivers have just five service periods over the duration of the event, meaning masterful car control and self-preservation will be high on the agenda.