Tom Cave secures maiden victory on Pirelli-backed BRC
The Dyfi and Dyfnant forests in north Wales hosted the Bulldog International Rally of North Wales, supplied by Pirelli’s K6 gravel tyre, over the weekend, where local driver Tom Cave secured his maiden victory at the wheel of a Citroen DS3 R3T. Pirelli said that its K6 control tyre coped well with the unseasonably warm and dry conditions. In other Pirelli news, the company-backed Star Driver, Jukka Korhonen drove his TEG Sport prepared Skoda Fabia R2 with a “measured approach” that rewarded the Finn with his first points finish; he claimed seventh overall and second in class.
“This was my first time driving in the Welsh forests and I have learned a lot,” said Korhonen at the finish ceremony in Welshpool. “The car is very good but maybe I need to work on my pacenotes to suit the British terrain and I think we can improve our speed more. We were close to Elfyn [Evans] for much of the rally and scored important points, which was our aim for this event. The car only needs a polish now for the Pirelli International Rally and I’m sure we can get a good result there,” he added.
Cave’s outstanding performance on Saturday’s competitive stages rewarded the 20-year-old Welshman with the Pirelli yellow jersey. Cave will join Mark Donnelly as the second nominee to attend Pirelli’s prestigious end of season shoot-out, which is due to be held later this year.
Competing on his home event, former Pirelli Star Driver Elfyn Evans was cheered on by local fans as the 23-year-old steered his Ford Fiesta R2 to first in class and fifth overall. Molly Taylor, also a former Pirelli Star Driver, was less fortunate, as the 22-year-old Australian rolled her Fiesta R2 on Saturday’s opening stage. Both Taylor and British co-driver Sebastian Marshall were unharmed.
Pirelli Tyre UK’s motorsport manager, Carl Naylor, said: “The sheer commitment of the competitors in the Welsh forests over the weekend was unbelievable. The stages on the Bulldog are incredibly fast but they are also very technical, meaning that the smallest mistake could put a driver off the road. Despite the unexpectedly warm weather, our Pirelli K6 gravel tyres performed remarkably well. They were effective on a very wide range of different machinery, and although the tyres were often on the limit due to the warm weather, they proved to be more than capable of withstanding the challenging conditions, underlining their durability as well as performance.
“Following on from Jukka’s disappointment of a final stage retirement on the Rallye Sunseeker International last month, I am delighted to see our Pirelli Star Driver finish the second round of the championship with some solid points under his belt. The standard of competition was extremely high this weekend, and to see Jukka battle so closely with local driver Elfyn Evans is very encouraging indeed.”
The MSA British Rally Championship will move to Cumbria next month as competitors contest the third round of the UK’s premier rally series, the Pirelli International Rally, which runs from 28-29 April. The rally will also mark the 21st running of the event run in collaboration with Italian tyre firm.