Thursday | 12 Nov 2015

Circuit aces get a taste for WRC

Two respected figures from circuit racing were given a co-driver's view of the World Rally Championship at today's Shakedown for Wales Rally GB.

Williams F1 test driver Susie Wolff [above] and Audi Sport race engineer Leena Gade strapped in alongside Kris Meeke and Sébastien Ogier respectively to experience a full speed run through the 3.32km Clocaenog stage in North Wales. 

On returning to the service park in Ruthin, Scotland's Wolff admitted the ride in Meeke's DS 3 had impressed her. "The speed he carried through the fast stuff, how late he could brake and how much the car was jumping about - it was incredible," she said.

"Driving an F1 car tends to be much smoother with very little movements. With this, there was so much happening inside the car. It was a real experience. Book me in for another ride, I'll be back!"

Gade, who in 2011 became the first female race engineer to win the 24 Hours of Le Mans, was full of praise after her ride in Ogier's Polo R.

Audi Sport race engineer Gade took Julien Ingrassia's seat this morning

"It was incredible and over way too quickly. An unbelievable experience. These guys are nuts!" she said.

"The most impressive thing is the speed that he took through the corners and how smoothly the car handled jumps. I was expecting a big impact on landing but there was none - it was actually quite comfortable. The braking too was incredible. Compared to what I'm used to seeing in LMP this was something else. Awesome skills from Seb and fascinating to see how it's done."

Both Wolff and Gade were in Wales as representatives of the FIA's Women in Motorsport Commission.

Also getting a taste of the WRC today was Wales international rugby player Scott Williams who took a ride in Elfyn Evans' Ford Fiesta RS.

"It was awesome," he said. "The skill Elfyn has to drive the car is almost unbelievable. I'm so grateful to him for giving me the chance to experience it. He's got the advantage of a home fixture this weekend and I look forward to getting out on the stages and supporting him."

Watch stages live from Wales Rally GB with WRC+. Find out more here. 

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