|Breslau Rally: Interview with 4x4-legend "Gigglepin" Jim Marsden for Breslau.|
The UK-based Team Gigglepin was created in 2001 by founder Jim Marsden of "Gigglepin 4x4". In the intervening 12 years the team has won and been placed at many high profile world wide events.
Team Gigglepin pride themselves on their happy professional demeanour, and their continuing product development that has already brought the world many race winning products including the famous Twin-Motor winch.
In 2013, Jim Marsden visited the "Rally Breslau" in Poland for the second time - and was fighting for the overall win, which was finally prevented by technical problems. But he had some stagewins and showed a great fight. In 2014 "Gigglepin" will be back in Poland.
MR: Could you explain how Gigglepin prepare for the Breslau Rally?
Jim Marsden: "Breslau is like no other event in Europe. Breslau is a seven-day event and an average stage length of 240 kilometers and they are tough stages.
There is a lot of sand, a lot of deep water and both those things aren’t nice or kind to any vehicles especially the ones competing. So we have to set up the cars specifically as they have to be reliable and have to be able to take huge amounts of punishment over the seven days.
Now anyone can build a car that can last for one day but building a car that can last for seven days takes a special skill set - to build a car that can last the full seven days and be competitive takes an even bigger skill set.
When competing you’ll see that a lot of standard vehicles tend to do really well because they are less stressed than the thoroughbred vehicles such as our own but so for us, our preparation will revolve around waterproofing; making sure that’s all tiptop. It will also revolve around shock absorber tuning as wellso we’ll be tuning our suspension, as we’ll be racing on a lot of sand.
People don’t realise it but Poland is just sand, it’s like the Sahara in places so what we have to do is a lot of whoops and bumps so we have to dial in our suspension and get it absolutely spot on so that we can travel faster and safely."
MR: The terrain sounds quite harsh?
Jim Marsden: "It is, it is."
MR: What events are you competing in before you head to Poland?
Jim Marsden: "We’ve got quite a few events coming up. The "Norra 1000 Mexico" for Odyssey Batteries, it’s a 1000 mile desert race so that will be fun. Then we were heading straight on to the "King of the Glenns", which is an Ultra 4 event in Scotland.
The first time that’s ever happened there so that’s going to be an interesting one as we don’t know what to expect but that will be the first outing for this seasons new car; that’s going to be a big one for us.
Then a few weeks after that we’ve got king of the mountains, which is in Italy which again is a first time event. Again an Ultra 4 event so big rocks, high speed, expect lots of breakages, expect lots of spectacular fails, and really really tough. Then we’ve got a few weeks to get the car back together then onto Breslau. We’ve got unfinished business at Breslau this year - we were devastated not to win it last year."
MR: OK, so expectations are quite high this year?
Jim Marsden: "We always have high expectations we don’t go there to make up the numbers. We go there to try to win and last year unfortunately it didn’t quite work out for us. We had a breakage on one day and due to particularly harsh rules we got a DNS rather than a DNF and that gave us a 24hour time penalty.
That basically put paid to any chance of ever winning, even though over the next few days we were winning stage after stage and on some of the stages winning by over an hour at a time. We were doing very well."
MR: What’s your most favourite part of the Breslau Rally event?
Jim Marsden: "Probably the night stage. The night stage is just awesome. There are very few events in the world where you get to do a proper 60 km night stage and it is a genuine 60 km+ night stage. It’s insane! You start at 11 at night and off you go, its full hard-core as fast as you can and we really love it, absolutely love it.
We find that having the best lighting equipment is the difference between winning and losing. We are very lucky to be working with Lazer Lamps who are our official lighting partner. Their products are just superb for the type of night stages we will be competing in. We like to have a wall of light and that’s what that product gives us so it’s absolutely wonderful."
2014/06/24 | 14:45 CET | ARTICLE: MR/HS/RB