On Patrol with the Ford World Rally Team

AA Patrol job swap with Ford WRC technician

Ford Focus RS WRC - 2010 Rally Catalunya Costa Daurada

9 November 2010

Rally fans going to the Wales Rally GB (11-14 November) could be excused for doing a double-take if they spot an AA man working on a Ford Focus RS World Rally Car.

However, instead of having called out the UK's biggest breakdown provider for a helping hand, 47-year old AA patrol Brian Evans of Aberystwyth will eat, sleep and breathe rallying for five days as part of a job swap with the BP Ford Abu Dhabi World Rally Team.

Brian will be shadowing 35-year old Ashley Fowler who is a technician for the team operated by M-Sport, based in Cockermouth, Cumbria, which prepares and runs all the official Ford cars in the FIA World Rally Championship (WRC).

The Patrol's view

AA breakdown patrol Brian Evans Brian says: "I don't know quite what to expect but it's going to be an interesting challenge. We're used to working by ourselves on all manner of vehicles, so although Ashley has the support of the team, I imagine the pressure will be on – they only have a very short time to turn the cars around and carry out any repairs.

"I can't wait to get stuck in though and hopefully help the team secure a podium place in the drivers' championship."

The M-Sport technician's view

Ashley says: "Although the Ford Focus RS WRC is a purpose-built 300bhp machine, the basic skills required to service it are really no different to what Brian uses on a daily basis. The biggest difference is probably the amount of time we get to work on the cars, which can be as little as 15 minutes. They can come in with bits literally hanging off, so it can be a real effort to get them back out."

Top three

M-Sport technician Ashely Fowler BP Ford Abu Dhabi World Rally Team driver Jari-Matti Latvala and his Finnish co-driver and compatriot Miikka Anttila will be fighting for a top three position in the drivers' championship. The Wales Rally GB, the final round of the season, also marks the last outing for the Ford Focus RS WRC car that has won two manufacturers' world titles and 44 rallies.

After the rally, Ashley will spend some time on the road with Brian to experience life as an AA patrol. AA members will be able to read more about their job swap in the Spring 2011 edition of The AA Magazine.

More photographs of the Ford WRC team »

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10 November 2010