2014 British Rally Champion Daniel McKenna is in the final stages of preparing for his biggest rally adventure yet, the Monte Carlo Rally. The iconic event is a formidable test for any crew and it will be the opening round in Daniel’s attempt to claim the Junior World Rally Championship.
Speaking earlier this week Daniel said: “It is really a dream come true to be heading to the opening round of the World Rally Championship. We’ve worked hard in the off-season to secure as much funding for this season as possible. We’re still a little bit short of our target but a good result in Monte Carlo will hopefully keep us on the front foot for the year ahead.” Indeed staying on the front foot is easier said than done in Monte Carlo with snow and ice often featuring throughout the event.
Daniel has taken precautions though and is taking an experienced ice note crew with him to check the roads in advance. “Damien Connolly and Gary McElhinney will be performing ice note duties for me during the rally. I don’t want to leave anything to chance and taking two experienced co-drivers like Damien and Gary will be a great confidence boost heading to a new event” Daniel added. Indeed Connolly’s inclusion could well prove to be an ace in McKenna’s sleeve as he navigated Antony Warmbold to a top 10 finish on the Monte in 2005.
Daniel purchased a Citroen DS3 R3T before Christmas and the car is currently getting the necessary parts fitted before making its way to the continent as Daniel explains; “JWRC contestants are required to fit a ‘max’ kit to their cars this year and that is being fitted as I speak by Bobby at Sharkey Motorsport. I plan to have a short test in the car before the rally and Martin Wilkinson of CA1 Sport will run the car during the event. It’ll be my first rally with Andrew Grennan in a while but Andrew is a great co-driver and he’s up for the challenge just as much as I am. Our strategy will be to take no risks and try to get points on the board early.”
The 83rd Rallye Monte Carlo will run between Monaco and Gap. After a start in the principality on Thursday January 22nd, the crews will tackle two stages in the dark on the way up to an overnight stop in Gap. The next two days of competition are centred around Gap before Daniel and Andrew head south via the Sisteron stage on Saturday afternoon to arrive back in Monte Carlo in the evening. Sunday’s final morning loop is followed by a traditional podium celebration outside the palace in Monaco.