Teenage rally star Tom Cave was delighted with his second place finish on the opening round of the 2011 Dulux Trade MSA British Rally Championship, Rallye Sunseeker International. The JRM Motorsport driver took three stage wins in the Dorset forests as he challenged for the lead throughout the rally.
Overnight rain left the stages treacherous, but Cave was able to get off to a quick start in his Mitsubishi Lancer Evo X, posting the second best time on the first stage before winning stage two. Two more second fastest times on the next couple of stages left Cave just 2.9 seconds off rally leader and eventual winner David Bogie as they approached first service.
His charge continued after service, securing another stage win during the next group of three stages, however he lost time when having to slow due to spectators on the road, after rival Jason Pritchard stopped ahead of him.
Realising he wasn't going to be able to catch Bogie, Cave decided to ease off and ensure he finished the rally, but still managed to win another stage before the end. Finishing second gives Cave a good haul of points as he looks to mount a challenge for the 2011 BRC title.
Commenting on his Sunseeker performance, Tom said; “I’m really happy with today. I’ve really enjoyed the event and it’s a pretty much a perfect start to the BRC season for us.
“The first loop this morning was good, despite a huge moment on the first stage and understeer in the car. It wouldn’t turn in well on the fast corners but I think the others were suffering the same, so I guess it was just slippier than we anticipated.
“We made a few changes to the car in the first service and it felt better on the second loop but we lost a bit of time, and our concentration, when we arrived at the corner where Jason Pritchard had gone off. There were spectators stood around the car, on the line we would have taken through the corner and we had to go straight on to avoid them, then reverse back on to the stage.
“On the final loop, it felt really good and we managed to take a little time back from David but then, he was basically too quick for us and I decided to back off to safeguard second place. It was too good a result to risk.
“It’s a perfect start to the season for us – I couldn’t have hoped for anything better. The notes from Craig were working really well, the JRM car felt very good and it all came together.
“And the next round, the Bulldog, is my home event, so hopefully we can have a good result there to keep the momentum going.“