By Paul Evans
Tom Cave will contest his first rally of 2018 when he blasts off the start line on this Saturday’s Nicky Grist Stages.
The 26-year old driver from Aberdovey has been seeded at number one in a Spencer Sport team-run Mitsubishi Mirage R5.
Co-driven by Hirwaun’s James Morgan, the event will see the Welsh pair back in action for the first time since last October’s Wales Rally GB, when they finished an impressive third in the WRC2 category driving a Fiesta R5.
“As plans didn’t quite come together in time for the start of the season, I’m only intending to enter a few rallies in 2018,” said Cave. “I’m therefore grateful to Spencer Sport for giving me an opportunity to get back out there and keep my hand in. Of course, I’ve worked with Spencer Sport before when we finished second in the British Rally Championship in 2016. It was a great team effort. Having led the event at one point, we also finished second on the Nicky Grist Stages in that year behind Elfyn Evans.”
Cave is mindful that with a 120-strong field, a number of previous event winners and crews in WRC cars taking part, it’s not going to be easy to score a top result and says he will have a better idea of what’s in store after he has tested the Mitsubishi on Thursday.
“I’ve driven the Mirage before but only in testing, so it’s great to now have the chance to compete in it too,” added Cave. “I know there’s been a number of upgrades since I drove it last, so I’m looking forward to finding out what it’s like now, especially on a rally like the Nicky Grist Stages.”
The Builth Wells-based event is a round of the Jordan Road Surfacing BTRDA Rally Series and the Pirelli MSA Welsh Forest Rally Championship and contains 45 classic Welsh forestry stage miles on the Carmarthenshire and Powys border.
Cave’s Nicky Grist Stages outing is supported by Spencer Sport, Spencer ECA, Nicky Grist Motorsports, DMACK Tyres, Walero and Atech.