I’ve been holding back on writing this one for a while now, truth is I wanted to have some footage to show you of a testing session that was planed this month in the UK but unfortunately it had to be postponed until the beginning of 2018.
I’ve just been given fantastic offer from a certain Matt Edwards to drive the complete next season of the British Rally Championship! More notably in the Junior class in an R2 Ford Fiesta. I owe Matt a great deal of gratitude, I count myself very fortunate to be offered a deal like this from such a big talent in the sport and I’m definitely going to do my very best to bring in the results. This is the first time I compete in a championship of this scale, it will include the Belgian Ypres rally, the Isle of Man rally and the world rally championship round in Wales.
It is safe to say that this will be my biggest challenge I have faced in my driving career so far and I will have to learn a lot to be able to set a reasonable pace. Part of what is new to me is the FWD platform and the sequential gearbox but most notably the tarmac rallies that make up 50% of the championship. I have only driven two proper tarmac stages in the 4 years of being a rally driver and from what I have heard from many experienced drivers, tarmac roads requires you to drive them very differently from gravel roads, so they will create a big learning curve for me.
I have some great mentors who have offered to teach me for the upcoming season, Matt Edwards and I will do thorough testing before every single round where he will teach me some very important techniques and go over the different surface types that can be expected in the rallies. I also have the honour of having two brilliant co-drivers willing to sit with me throughout the year, George Gwynn and Ísak Guðjónsson, they have a lot of experience which is very important for someone as inexperienced as me, it creates a good balance I think. George and Ísak will split the co-drivers job between them as they both have other drivers and championships to attend to.
As previously mentioned, I will be driving a Ford Fiesta, it’s a very quick M-sport built car who I hear is very reliable and strong, not a bad thing to be driving a car built by the current world champions. It would seem that the odds are stacked against me with most of the locals having more experience and bigger budgets, but I remain hopeful as this is my biggest opportunity to get some recognission in the rally world and I plan on taking full advantage of it.
It is currently unknown what place is plausible for me to aim for, however the first two events are gravel rallies and they will most likely be the ones were I will be the strongest since some resemblance of knowledge is already under the belt on UK gravel roads.
I am really looking forward to competing and trilled by the amount of seat time I expect to get next year compared to pervious years. The competition level will be very high which will only push me to drive faster and increase my overall pace even more, and of course I will go into every event with only one goal in mind, WINNING… and finishing I guess.
Bellow you can see a short clip from Elfyn Evans who made it all the way up to the WRC after competing in the BRC for a few years. I can’t wait to have a go at these stages!