The fourths were strong last weekend for drivers of cars prepared and run by MML Sports; Tristan Bailey finished the National section of Wales Rally GB in fourth place in his Mitsubishi Lancer WRC04 while in France, Cyrille Feraud also claimed fourth place on the Vaucluse gravel rally, the final round of the national championship.
In the UK, Bailey was tackling the three-day, 13-stage event in his Lancer, running in the National section of the FIA World Rally Championship season closer. His event began well but he soon began to suffer, in the extremely slippery conditions and also as a sensor on the transmission began to fail, meaning he could not use the paddle-shift system and had to lift off the throttle to change gear manually with the back-up lever.
However, despite this, he maintained a positive outlook and put in an excellent performance on the stages, establishing a string of top five results. By the mid-point of the second day, he had established himself in fourth place and he managed the rest of the event to ensure that he reached the finish ramp in Llandudno still in fourth place after a long and difficult rally.
If the conditions in Wales were bad, then in France, they were even worse. A solid week of rain meant that the clay base for the gravel event was saturated and although Feraud’s car ran without fault, the MML Sports technicians spent much of the event trying to remove the cloying mud from the wheelarches and underside.
Feraud adopted a cautious start and maintained this approach throughout the event, ending the two-day, eight-stage rally in fourth place behind more recent world rally cars on his final outing of 2014.
Commenting, MML Sports Managing Director John Easton said; “I am pleased that both Tristan and Cyrille managed to finish their respective events without any major incidents. Both rallies saw a number of problems for other competitors and both maintained a careful approach to get a good result.
“Tristan’s issue transpired to be a failing electrical component which we tried to repair but unfortunately, to no avail during the course of the rally. However, he managed to continue with the back-up system and record an excellent finish in very tricky conditions.
“Cyrille was also very impressive in truly dreadful conditions. With the exception of two punctures he picked up on the way, he had a trouble-free run. The same can’t be said for the mechanics however, as they were digging huge amounts of mud out of the car at every service. But Cyrille drove a cautious event to make sure he got to the finish.”