Tuesday 2 October 2012

Stunning Cave dominates rally and takes 2nd in the championship

A scintillating performance on the finale of the 2012 MSA British Rally Championship saw Welsh rally driver Tom Cave triumph over team-mate Osian Pryce on the Rally of Yorkshire. Cave and co-driver Craig Parry set the fastest time on four of the six stages which made up the event and by taking the win, sealed the runners-up spot in the 2012 British Rally Championship.

Cave knew that he had it all to play for on the final round of the series. There were four drivers in the running for the title, including Pryce. However, one, Jonnie Greer, went out of the running early on, when the wheel bolts on his car sheared off in the first stage.

That left Cave, Pryce and double former champion Keith Cronin in the hunt. Cronin had to finish fifth or better to claim the title but that didn't stop Tom dominating the event to begin with. He was fastest on the 16mile Dalby stage on Friday evening in the dark, despite several moments on what he described as very tricky conditions.

He started Saturday in the same vein, taking the win on the first two of the day's five stages, to head the field by five seconds over Pryce by the mid-point. However, there would be late scare for Tom, as he clipped a bank in the penultimate stage and bent the rear suspension beam on his Citroen DS3. Following a short service, where the Davies Motorsport Services technicians carried out running repairs, he dug deep for the final stage, knowing that it all came down to this final timed test.

He went through fastest again and by the end of the event, he and Pryce were tied on identical total stage times, down to the last 0.1 second. However, championship regulations state that in the event of a tie, the best performance on the first stage decides and his win on the opening test clinched the victory for Tom.

While Cronin went on to finish the event a distant third place, he takes the 2012 title for the third time. However, the result means that Tom cements second on the championship in only his first season of contesting the full BRC. He also claims second in the 2012 Citroen Racing Trophy UK as well as winning the Citroen Junior Trophy and with it, €10,000 towards an entry in the Rally du Var in November.

Commenting at the finish, Tom said: "Of course I am delighted to have won the finale of the series, my second win of the year but at the same time, gutted to have missed out on the 2012 BRC title.

"We knew that it would be a big task to take the title - not only did we have to do well but we needed Keith to have a problem and that isn't something that happens very often. I congratulate him on his third BRC title - it's a big achievement.

"We did have a fantastic battle with Osian throughout the event though and when I hit the bank on the fifth stage, I thought it was over for us. But the boys fixed the car up as well as they could - it felt as good as it had all rally - and we gave it everything we had in the last stage; I couldn't believe it when Craig told me we were on the same time.

"For me, second in the BRC and the Citroen Racing Trophy and winning the Citroen Junior Trophy is a good result, particularly in my first full BRC season and the year after I took the BTRDA Production Cup. It's been a tough year but a rewarding one - we have had highs and lows, lost and found sponsors and hopefully demonstrated that we're serious about rallying and getting to the top.

"I have so many people to thank; my late Father, who would have been very proud, my mum and family, Craig, the Davies Motorsport Services team, supporters from the Trefeddian Hotel, HN Nuttal Foods, Cambrian Training in Welshpool and of course, all our fans and followers.

"We're now looking into the Rallye du Var and hopefully, we'll be able to go to France and see how we perform."

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