In his first-ever gravel rally start, Ed Fossey finished the Nicky Grist Stages overall in seventy-seventh place and third in class.
The 17 year-old Jerseyman competed with a Yokohama Next Big Step Suzuki Swift, prepared by the experienced Peter Gwynne Motorsport team.
It was to be a learning curve for Fossey and his co-driver Tom Hutchings as they took on the 45-mile event in biblical conditions alongside WRC star Elfyn Evans, and British Rally Championship regulars David Bogie and Fredrik Åhlin.
Fossey and Hutchings’ main priority was about building experience on the gravel. 45 miles later and a mature drive on the tricky second pass, which was heavily rutted, Fossey claimed a well-deserved seventy-seventh place overall and finished third in class.
The Jersey driver said “The Nicky Grist Stages was a completely new challenge for me, it was my first gravel event so I took it relatively easy as I wanted to build my confidence and get used to what gravel rallying is all about.
“We have learnt a lot from the event and my speed improved after every stage. There was no plan other than to finish – so to pick up third in class was an added bonus!
“I would like to thank my supporters for getting me to this event. I am very grateful to everyone especially the Next Big Step and Yokohama. The tyres really took the rough stage punishment and coupled with the Suzuki – which didn’t miss a beat, all gave me the confidence to progress and get quicker.
“Our next event is the Tyneside Stages, so back to tarmac, a surface I know very well. This is where we can push a little more and continue to develop further.”