and BRC finale
Hot off the back of a stunning performance on Wales Rally GB, where he finished 14th overall and second in SWRC in the second official PROTON Motorsports Satria Neo S2000, Welsh rally driver Tom Cave heads to Yorkshire next weekend, for the finale of the MSA British Rally Championship. Tom, and co-driver Craig Parry, are currently lying third in the championship and while there are six drivers who can mathematically win the series, two are not competing in Yorkshire, so it will be a four-way fight for the 2012 title.
The favourites are likely to be Tom and former double BRC champion, Keith Cronin. Tom is just four points behind Cronin and with 50% extra points available in Yorkshire and dropped scores coming into play, the possible permutations are huge.
However, from Tom's point of view, he knows that to stand any chance of clinching the 2012 BRC title, he has to put in the performance of his career. He is already riding a wave of confidence, following his Wales Rally GB success, coupled with a win in Thailand with Proton and outright wins on the Coracle Stages and the Mid-Wales rallies earlier this year, in addition to a win in the BRC.
And while it looks like a difficult task to best Cronin, who would appear to only need to finish eighth in Yorkshire to wrap up the title, Tom knows that nothing is decided until the end of the event.
Commenting ahead of the rally, Tom said; "I think Rally Yorkshire will be one of the hardest events of my career. There is so much at stake that getting the right balance on the event will be crucial.
"The obvious strategy might be to push at maximum attack from the off but this could quite easily backfire, as if I fail to finish and the others do well, I could go from second to fourth in the championship.
"However, if I settle in and go for a reasonable result, particularly ahead of Osian [Pryce] and Jonnie [Greer], then that could help cement second in the championship, which wouldn't be a bad result for my first season contesting the full BRC.
"That could also mean second in the Citroen Racing Trophy. However, if I come home as the first driver under 23, I win a significant credit for parts against an entry in the Rallye du Var in France in 2013.
"Of course, aiming for a solid second place could also be rewarding if Keith has a problem, such as another mechanical issue like he had on the Sunseeker. I think the only thing that is certain is that we won't know who's champion until the stop line of the last stage on Saturday."
The event begins with a ceremonial start on the seafront in Scarborough in the evening of Friday 28 September, followed by a single special stage that evening. There then follow a further five stages on Saturday 29 September, run in the infamous Dalby Forest, before the first crews are expected at the finish, again on the seafront that evening.