Guided by co-driver Andrew Graham, Andy has hurled his awesome creation to First in Class in every one of the five French rallies the team has entered, and all on the same set of 265/75x16 General Grabber MT tyres.
Their most recent triumph was coming first in the T2 Group, and first in the T2 Diesel Class at this year’s Rallye des Cimes, a hardcore test of speed and endurance for all-terrain speed machines in South West France.
Andy modestly thanks the weather for their victory. ‘The dry conditions helped a lot. Last year was very wet, which doesn’t suit two tons-plus when trying to accelerate and stop. At the end of the day, first you have to finish to finish first.’
But as is the way with off-road motorsport, the Rallye des Cimes wasn’t all plain sailing. The standard radius arm bushes expired after just two stages, and the duo had one or two close shaves: ‘On one stage the back stepped out towards the 1000 foot drop to the left which I had to turn into, which was a tad close! Then I heard Andrew very calmly say over the intercom, “Try not to do that again,” which did make me smile!
‘Our plans for next year are to carry on doing the same, but we’re looking at more power to balance the weight issue, which Andrew [of AlliSport fame] is looking into for us.' Look out for more of Andy's dazzling Defender next year at Collines d’Arzacq, Jean de la Fontaine, Rallye des Cimes, Dunes et Marais and the Plaines et Vallees.
Read more about the vehicle in our January issue, which you can download for Apple and Android devices by clicking here. More info about the Rallye des Cimes can be found here.