As announced a few weeks ago, Tom Cave and his co-driver James Morgan will debut a Hyundai Motorsport-built New Generation i20 R5 in the Prestone MSA British Rally Championship on this weekend’s Pirelli Rally (29th & 30th April).
They head to the second round of the UK’s top rally series lying second in the championship standings after an impressive performance on round one, the Border Counties Rally. Having led the event at the halfway stage, conditions and the determination to secure a good result saw them end a tough but successful weekend in second place.
Tom (from Aberdovey) will drive the Hyundai for the first time in advance of the Pirelli Rally when he and co-driver James Morgan (from Hirwaun) test the car in Kielder Forest on Thursday (27th). Whilst the i20 R5 is new to them both, competition at rallying’s highest level in the UK is not and therefore their hopes are high for another top result, as Tom explains:
“It’s a brand new car and for us, a brand new team, so this will be a learning curve for everyone. The whole package looks great and I’m pleased to report that everything is coming together well. We have a test day planned for Thursday when I’ll be driving the Hyundai for the first time and I’m really looking forward to it.
“I’m familiar with the Kielder stages, so for James and I the plan is to carry on from where we left off on round one. While we want to make sure we stay in the running for the championship, we also want to do the best job we possibly can for everyone involved with this exciting project.”
The Pirelli Rally starts and finishes in Carlisle. The route features 100 competitive miles in Kielder Forest, split into four stages on Saturday afternoon followed by a further four stages on Sunday morning.
Tom’s British Rally Championship campaign is supported by DMACK Tyres, the Trefeddian Hotel, Walero temperature regulating base layers and Atech Racing.
Following a highly successful 2016, when he finished runner-up in the MSA British Rally Championship, Aberdovey driver Tom Cave kicks off his 2017 season with the Llandudno-based Cambrian Rally that takes place on Saturday 11th February. The 25-year old is pleased to be starting his year with one of his most local rallies and consequently, is aiming for nothing less than a top result.
In order to enhance his chances of success, Tom has acquired a WRC Subaru S14 from McKinstry Motorsport to contest the event that hosts the first round of the BTRDA Rally Series. Although having never driven the car before and with his most recent gravel outing that of the Nicky Grist Stages in July, Tom’s experience in four-wheel-drive machinery last year is destined to stand him in good stead. Indeed, it’s worth noting that Tom took outright victory in the last BTRDA event he contested, the Plains Rally in May.
Starting and finishing on Llandudno Promenade, this year’s Cambrian Rally features 42 competitive miles split into six stages in the Clocaenog, Alwen and Penmachno forests, all previously used for the Wales Rally GB.
“I’m passionate about supporting events in Wales, especially this one as it’s organised by my car club, so to compete on a rally that takes place only 20 miles from where I live and features such good stages is a perfect way to start the season. It’s also an excellent way to promote my sponsors, including our family business, the Trefeddian Hotel.
Tom’s season takes on a different look to that of last year’s when he got within one place of winning the British title:
“Of course, I did consider continuing in the British Rally Championship this year, as I feel I could have really challenged for the title. But following the cancellation of the opening round – the mid-Wales Stages – it made it a difficult to justify a BRC campaign to many of my sponsors.
“My plans are now to enter a series of selected rallies that will expand my experience and continue to keep me match-fit. As to what events these will be is still to be decided, but I’m really looking forward to what’s going to be an interesting season ahead, especially as I’ll be kicking things off by driving a WRC car on the Cambrian Rally.”
Tom will be joined next weekend by his regular co-driver from 2017, James Morgan from Hirwaun. The car will carry the livery of Tom’s sponsors: Trefeddian Hotel, Dmack tyres, Walero and Atech Racing:.
A test has been organised in nearby forests on Friday 10th February and Tom has extended an invitation to the media to sit along side him as he shakes-down and acclimatises to the Subaru. Those who would like to attend should get in touch with Press Officer Simon Slade: firstname.lastname@example.org / 07966 1535555.